Waikato Regional Council (WRC) is a local government agency located on Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island) of Aotearoa (New Zealand). With more than 600 employees, the Council is responsible for the management of the environment and communities, as well as the economic growth and development of the Waikato Region, which is home to 500,000 people.
Data is central to the Council’s ability to fulfil its obligations to Waikato and residents, including Waikato Māori iwi (tribes). However, with a fast-expanding technology environment, WRC sought to establish a future-proof data platform to demonstrate end-to-end compliance and remove risk across the vast types of information and records it houses.
In 2020, WRC deployed Microsoft 365 to drive improved productivity for its 500 workers. This quickly led to growth in the number of storage repositories but also in the volume of data being stored outside of the document management system. Council’s Information Management team saw increasing complexity in its data management landscape, and recognised it had insufficient visibility around what employees were saving within M365 and the network shares. This posed risks to the accuracy, integrity, and security of confidential, sensitive and personally identifiable information. It also made it challenging to fulfil reporting requirements in line with various regulatory frameworks which govern it, including New Zealand’s Public Records Act.
WRC made the decision to conduct a full review so it could manage, search, and audit records used by employees, including the information generated from its use of Microsoft 365’s suite, comprising Teams, SharePoint and Groups. WRC deployed Castlepoint’s explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) platform as it was the only appropriate solution capable of providing a holistic view of data across all systems, making it easy for Council to understand, control and manage data.
WRC is leveraging Castlepoint to underscore key responsibilities of its Information Management team, including the management of documents, records, and archives, as well as data disposal. This subsequently enables comprehensive auditing and monitoring, identification of high-risk data, and automated data classification and records sentencing at scale.
Castlepoint not only helped WRC establish a comprehensive view of its data, but the platform’s indexing capabilities also identified high-risk records across Council’s digital environment, exposed over 80,000 duplicates, and tracked more than 50,000 records for responsible disposal.
Castlepoint also supports Council’s data security and governance obligations by flagging where sensitive information is stored and highlighting potential risk. These factors combine to maintain confidence that data access is restricted and therefore secured.
WRC plans to extend Castlepoint beyond its network drives and M365 to other systems, including its document management system and a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform it is implementing to create a full picture of its information management landscape.
Council is also investigating opportunities to leverage Castlepoint as part of its collaborative partnership to records management with its local Indigenous community. This includes automated identification and linking of information related to iwi, hapū, and marae, to support Indigenous data sovereignty.
“Maintaining full visibility and control of the data we have is integral to fulfilling our obligations to the Waikato Region in a compliant manner. Castlepoint has given us the ability to clean up our data, and establish rules on what should be stored where, stripping away risk now and into the future. Once we get to our ideal future state, by creating drives for particular business functions and cleaning up and migrating data and information form existing general drives, we will lean on Castlepoint further to provide on-going reporting and monitoring and ultimately ensure we don’t end up in the same position we were previously in 10 years down the track.” Joanne Bell, Team Leader – Information Management, Waikato Regional Council
Rachael Greaves, CEO, Castlepoint Systems
WRC is a trusted custodian of community information – and having transparency and control over that information is cornerstone to ensuring it can serve the Region, its people and its environment effectively. With Castlepoint providing a framework for compliance and risk management, Council can focus on driving value for the community with assurance the data it relies on is accurate, protected, and compliantly controlled.
Castlepoint Systems’ powerful AI-driven platform is the intersection between cybersecurity and data governance. It is the only solution using ethical AI to unlock information management, eDiscovery, governance, risk, and compliance for the fastest, easiest way to find, manage, protect, and de-risk all an organisation’s information in a single interface. Founded in 2012 in Australia, the multi-award-winning solution allows governance and risk teams to have a complete view across the whole environment and optimise investment in security, eDiscovery, and compliance processes. With offices in Australia, Europe and the USA, Castlepoint’s scalable and transparent AI enables organisations to safeguard communities and people from data mismanagement and risk.