Data Classification

Information asset classification is required to determine the relative sensitivity and criticality of information assets which provide the basis for protection efforts and access control. Data Classification is the labelling of data with tags that tell us its level of sensitivity. By understanding the sensitivity of data,we can learn more about how your data travels; how it is created, stored, used and accessed. And, once you understand these things, it then becomes possible to secure that data.

When data is created, tags are added that explain the value of the data. Like labelling boxes for a house move. These categorizations are applied to the data file in the same way that a file name is. These tags are created as metadata and can be visually stamped on the documents too. They travel with the document, wherever it goes, and can be read by other software to determine exactly what is in the document and how that data should be handled.

Why is data classification important for information security?

A Data Classification Program is an extremely important first step to building a secure organization.Classifying data not only makes good sense, but it defines data protection requirements and legislations (like GDPR), specific to data sensitivity.

Once you know which data needs the most protection, you can properly allocate funds and resources to defend those assets.
Employing a proper data classification scheme is cost effective, as it allows a business to focus on protecting its higher risk data assets. For an example, businesses that do not have a data classification system treat all data as highly confidential; however, in reality they often apply the wrong controls to protect the data.
So, employees may shred public information but recycle confidential information because they do not have clear guidance on what to do.

By classifying their data, organizations can comply with data legislation. Data Classification provides the ability to discover (and gain control of) legacy data, not to mention protecting against data loss through the use of downstream security technologies.

Once the data is classified, we increase the chances to find it, use it, protect it and monitor it effectively. Data Classification enables us to understand and secure the journey of our data, keeping it safe from creation to deletion. With the ability to manage and retrieve data more quickly and identify data for deletion more easily, a reduction in data storage costs can be realized.
Data Classification provides more control over who can consume different types of data. It also enhances data visibility through auditing and reporting features so you can see exactly what is happening to your data once it has been created