Embracing Zero Trust Data Access for IT-Controlled Chain-of-Command

IT-controlled chain-of-command over unstructured data using Zero Trust Data Access plays a crucial role in enhancing data security and regulatory compliance.

Embracing Zero Trust Data Access for IT-Controlled Chain-of-Command

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



The average organization uses 57 file sharing services and the average employee uses 4 distinct file sharing services.* In the age of digital transformation, managing and securing unstructured data has become paramount for organizations seeking to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. Data breaches and unauthorized access pose significant threats making an IT-controlled chain-of-command over unstructured data a strategic imperative. Zero Trust Data Access helps organizations obtain IT controlled chain of command to manage the complexities of unstructured data while ensuring robust data security, regulatory compliance, and efficient utilization of valuable information assets.

What is an IT-controlled chain of command?

Having an IT-controlled chain of command over unstructured data means that the organization has established a structured and controlled process for managing and overseeing the flow of unstructured data within the IT infrastructure. Unstructured data doesn’t have a pre-defined data model like database data, but refers instead to text documents, images, videos, emails, and other file types.

What are the benefits of having an IT-controlled chain of command?

By having an IT-controlled chain of command over unstructured data, an organization can enhance data security, ensure regulatory compliance, and optimize the use of valuable information assets. It also helps in mitigating risks associated with data breaches, unauthorized access, and other potential threats to the integrity and confidentiality of unstructured data.

What are the characteristics of an IT-controlled chain of command?

Here are some key characteristics of an IT-controlled chain-of-command over unstructured data:

  1. Data Governance:

  • There are established policies and procedures governing how unstructured data is collected, stored, processed, and accessed. This includes defining data ownership, data classification, and access controls.
  1. Security Measures:

  • The organization implements security measures to protect unstructured data from unauthorized access, breaches, or data loss. This may involve encryption, access controls, monitoring, and auditing.
  1. Compliance:

  • The organization adheres to relevant legal and regulatory requirements concerning the handling of unstructured data. This may include data protection laws, industry-specific regulations, and internal compliance policies.
  1. IT Infrastructure Integration:

  • The chain of command involves integration with IT storage infrastructure. This may include file servers, cloud storage, Infrastrucure-as-a-Service storage, SharePoint, content management systems, and other technologies that handle unstructured data.
  1. Monitoring and Reporting:

  • There are mechanisms in place to monitor the use and movement of unstructured data. This enables the organization to generate reports, identify potential security threats, conduct forensic investigations and ensure compliance with policies.
  1. Incident Response:


  • In the event of a data breach or security incident, there are mechanisms in place for incident response. This includes identifying the source of the breach, mitigating its impact, and implementing measures to prevent future occurrences.

Zero Trust Data Access for IT-controlled chain-of-command

Zero Trust Data Access (ZTDA) technology, as implemented by FileFlex Enterprise, plays an important role in enhancing the IT-controlled chain of command over unstructured data. Here’s how it contributes to this control:

  1. Brings User Access Control:

  • ZTDA can provide granular control over who can access specific unstructured data. Access permissions can be defined based on user roles, responsibilities, and other contextual factors and can be customized on a user-by-user basis. This granular control ensures that only authorized individuals or groups can access sensitive information, aligning with the principle of least privilege.
  1. Provides Repository Access Control:

  • Storage repositories themselves can be assigned permission levels such as view-only, and sharing prohibited and where only authorized individuals can deposit or write to sensitive storage locations.
  1. Supports User Authentication and Authorization:

  • FileFlex Enterprise typically integrates robust user authentication mechanisms, including multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong password policies. This ensures that only authenticated and authorized users can access unstructured data.
  1. Delivers Secure Remote Access:

  • ZTDA technologies like FileFlex Enterprise facilitate secure remote access to unstructured data. This is especially important in today’s work environment, where employees may need to access data from various locations and devices without compromising security.
  1. Provides Auditing and Monitoring:

  • The solution often includes comprehensive auditing and monitoring capabilities that can be integrated into the organization’s SIEM software. This allows organizations to track user activities, detect anomalous behavior, and generate reports for compliance purposes.  IT administrators can gain insights into who accessed what data, when, and from where, helping to maintain visibility and accountability.
  1. Offers Integration with Existing Infrastructure:

  • The Zero Trust Data Access technology is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure, including file servers, cloud storage, SharePoint and other repositories of unstructured data. This integration streamlines management and ensures consistency in data access controls.
  1. Adheres to Zero Trust Architecture Principles:


  • ZTDA adheres to the Zero Trust security model, which assumes that threats may exist both outside and inside the network. By not trusting any entity by default, ZTDA ensures continuous verification of users and devices, adding an extra layer of security to the IT-controlled chain of command.


In conclusion, establishing an IT-controlled chain of command over unstructured data is a strategic imperative for organizations aiming to strengthen their data management practices and fortify their cybersecurity defenses. The benefits of such control extend beyond mere organizational efficiency, encompassing crucial aspects like data security, regulatory compliance, and optimized utilization of information assets.

The characteristics of an IT-controlled chain of command, including data governance, security measures, compliance, IT infrastructure integration, and monitoring, collectively form an effective framework for safeguarding unstructured data. These elements not only improve the organizational defenses against potential data breaches and unauthorized access but also lay the foundation for effective incident response.

The integration of Zero Trust Data Access (ZTDA) technology, as implemented by FileFlex Enterprise, further elevates the control over unstructured data. From granular user and repository access controls to robust authentication mechanisms and secure remote access, ZTDA aligns seamlessly with the principles of Zero Trust Architecture.

As organizations navigate the intricacies of unstructured data management, the implementation of an IT-controlled chain-of-command, using innovative technologies such as ZTDA, emerges as a cornerstone for safeguarding sensitive information. It contributes to data resilience, regulatory compliance, and the optimal utilization of valuable information assets, and empowers organizations to thrive securely in our evolving era of digital information.


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Tom Ward is the VP of Marketing for Qnext Corp. He is an expert in the technology industry with a history of achievement. Tom holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.