Why Is Data Classification Important?

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Data classification is vital for all businesses, especially as we hold more information than ever before, and businesses increasingly open their data networks to external collaborators. Below, we take a look at the different reasons why this is a must for data protection purposes.

What is data classification?

Data classification is a procedure that involves categorising data assets based on how sensitive they are. For example, some categories you may implement are as follows: top secret, regulatory data, highly confidential, public, internal, and such like. By classifying data, both your workforce and you will know how to protect it. You will know the measures to put in place, and how the data in question should be handled. This will reduce the chance of a data breach occurring.

It makes you aware of what the next steps should be with that piece of data

Data classification is imperative because you then know how the data should be handled from a security standpoint. For example, you know whether the data in question needs to have strict access control settings applied, or whether the data is not really confidential, and therefore, does not require protection. This does not only apply to online data either; you may need to invest in document shredding or store documents in a secure place, whereas other documents may not require this level of security and protection.

Do you know where all of your data is right now?
You should.

After all, can you honestly say that you know where all of your data is stored at present? Any data that cannot be accounted for is opening up your business to the risk of a breach, and the statistics regarding data breaches make grim reading to say the least. For effective data protection, classification is a must.

You can run your firm more effectively and you will know who is accountable for any issues

Data classification is also beneficial because it ensures that your employees are accountable for their actions and that they are actively involved in protecting your firm.

Although data classification may seem like an extra hassle and expense, it can actually lower costs at your company

Other benefits include reduced expenditure in ensuring adequate information security, as well as more efficient business activities. Data classification also forms the basis for effective protection techniques, including incident response plans and identity access management. It basically establishes the foundations for everything you do to protect your firm’s data.

As you can see, the need for data classification is evident. No matter what type of business you run – no matter the industry you operate in or the size of your company – you will handle data, and you need to make sure you classify it appropriately in order to protect it. If you are not sure about how to go about this yourself, there are businesses that specialize in data classification, so there is help available should you need it.

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