In order to understand how data classification works, organisations must understand what makes data sensitive and how to identify it. Data classification is the general process of sorting data into various forms, types or distinct classes. Contrary to popular opinion, classified doesn’t necessarily mean confidential.
In business parlance, data classification is the process of categorizing all data present in an enterprise into groups, based on certain shared characteristics “like sensitivity, value to the organisation”. The objective is to find and manage sensitive data efficiently and prevent data breach. Data classification is one of the crucial steps of a data protection program in any enterprise. Data Classification allows recognition and labelling of sensitive data from the multitude of data present across an enterprise infrastructure. Once sensitive data is identified, organisations can implement applicable processes and controls in place to manage & protect data on an ongoing basis and reduce risk of exposure & breach.
Reasons to implement a robust data classification program:
- Increase awareness about data sensitivity and data security
- Reduce risks of accidental data leakage and data storage costs
- Minimize data ownership and management costs