Understand Data Classification Before You Lose on Your Data Security

Are you worried about protecting your data from unwanted and unauthorized access? Does identifying your sensitive data for better campaigns and monetizing it to earn revenues seem difficult to you? Don’t worry. Data Classification is the answer! 

To Begin with, What Is Data Classification?

It is a diversified process involving various methods and for categorizing data within your database. You can classify data according to your business goals making it more secure and leverage revenues by data monetization.

Let’s understand it this way-

You already have a database of your business or organization. It contains a large amount of data that is raw. But, you know that raw data is extensive and bulky to handle. So, it is difficult for you to draw meaningful conclusions from them.

On the other hand, when you classify data it becomes simple, understandable, insightful and profit-oriented.

Hence, the importance of data and its classification for the growth of enterprises is phenomenal.

How Do You Classify Data by dividing data into Categories Based on Its Sensitivity?

You may classify your audience data strategically using various bases of data sensitivity and adopt a well-defined data classification process. Let’s discuss in detail.

Based on High Sensitivity:

This is the restricted and confidential data that if somehow disclosed, could expose your enterprises to severe damage, loss or legal consequences. It includes information like employee records, financial account details, intellectual property, system user IDs, passwords, etc that you can track personally.

Based on Medium Sensitivity:

Medium sensitive not highly-sensitive, whose unauthorized access could be embarrassing but wouldn’t be dangerous or tragic to your enterprise.It is the internal or company data for your company use only which includes your internal emails and non-confidential business files used in daily operations.

Based on Low Sensitivity:

Low sensitivity data is the public data or unrestricted information that your organization wants to make generally known to others. This includes your press releases, general sales and marketing material, and advertising.

Data Is Classified for Several Reasons. So Why Should You Have a Data Classification Policy? 

You need to incorporate data classification policy in your organizational strategies for:

Easy Identification of Data:

With data and its classification, you can conveniently know what data you have and where it is located. This further helps you to retain and store your data easily.

Data Security and Protection:

With data and its classification, it becomes easy to discover which data you need to secure by implementing a strategic data security policy which goes hand in hand with your Regulatory Compliance

Prevent Insider and Outsider Threats:

Your data contains some files and documents that make their way outside the company. Your third parties might be keen to see those data which they ethically shouldn’t. Data Categorization safeguards the insider threats that stem from your employees’ weaknesses and also helps to prevent unauthorized third parties and outsider threats.

Better Planning of Campaigns:

Classifying data gives you clear insights on what is the sensitive data and further which data will work for you better. As a result, this can help you in scaling those campaigns and removing the non-working categories and campaigns from your marketing strategy.

Data Monetization and Revenue Generation:

You classify data not only for sensitivity but also to recognize the opportunity that your data contains. As a result, you can add insights to your data and share it in the data markets and commercialize it for revenues using data monetization.

Getting Started to Classify Data? What Should Be Your Steps for Data Classification?

As you develop your data protection and monetization strategy, you can tailor with the following data categorization process to meet your enterprise’s unique needs. 

Step 1. Establish a Data Classification Policy.

In this step, you determine your goals as to why the data classification has been put into place. After this, you shall communicate the process to the team and decide the process and classes on how data categorization can be done. Now plan on Data ownership, i.e., your roles and responsibilities in the process.

Step 2. Discover Your Sensitive Data.

Move forward with the process of classifying data based on its sensitivity. Discovering your data means to find out which data from your vast database needs more care and which needs ease in handling. 

Step 3. Apply Classification Labels to Your Data.

It is up to you if you wish to give labels or names to each sensitive data of yours. This brings in clarity and ease the path of data categorization.

Step 4. Use Your Results to Improve Data Security and Compliance.

Once you know the sensitive data in your database, you can prioritize your efforts, control the costs involved and improve your data governance processes.

Step 5. Repeat.

Yes. Repeat because your Data is dynamic, so classifying Data is an ongoing process in the organization. Do ensure efficiency to achieve effectiveness.

What Elements Should You Look for in Your Data Classification Tool?

There are certain basic requirements to look for in a data classification tool. They are:

  • The data classification tool you use should be functional in nature, i.e. it should be useful enough to facilitate efficient data classification solutions.
  • These tools should include those tools that are easy to use and goes at ease with your data categorization strategy.
  • They should ensure that no matter where you move, copy or send your data files and documents to, that concerned file and docs remain classified at the changed storage location too.
  • One important requirement you need to take care when choosing the data categorization methods and tools is an easy integration.
  • As technology is advancing ahead, you will keep facing issues regarding data storage and management. So, your data classification tool should patch the possible gaps in your company’s data security and privacy policies.

Data Classification Comes with a Bundle of Benefits. What Are the Benefits It Brings?

There are great benefits associated with classifying data of your organization. Like what? Read them below:

  • It allows your business or organization to apply appropriate controls based on data categorization. You can work accordingly, and you don’t necessarily need to have the same kinds of controls for all types of data classification.
  • Classifying data saves you time and money. Because data and its classification focuses on what is important and what isn’t, you don’t waste your time putting unnecessary controls in place.
  • With Data Classifying methods, you can sort which Data is sensitive and which is not. As a result, you can minimize the risks of sensitive data and enhance the effectiveness of Data Loss Prevention (DLP).
  • One major importance of data and its classification is that it protects your information and provides it security. In this way, it safeguards any information breaches that could have happened somehow. 

TAKEAWAY! Is Data Classification a Win-Win Strategy for You?

Right from the time you create data until its destruction, you need to take care of the Data you possess. So by classifying data, you can adequately protect your data, store it properly and manage it well. You should align a strategic well-defined data categorization process according to your own business needs. 

When you employ the right strategies for classifying data of your organization, you will be able to comply with the legal and regulatory framework of your enterprises.

It would help you increase your data awareness by understanding better about which Data is sensitive. Consequently, you can promote better decision-making and maximize your opportunities for Data Monetization. Your data classifying strategy is the cornerstone of successful and secure use of data in your organization.

Hence, data and its classification is a game-changer for your business and organizational efficiency. So, always keep your business needs in mind and draft a win-win strategy to move ahead.

Have you set your enterprise up for success with data classification?

Need help with your data to build security and revenues?

Contact us to know how Audienceplay can help.

About Sonali Gupta

Sonali is a technical content writer who loves to blend her creativity with rational ideas of business and technology. She writes expert resource materials related to the Martech and adtech world updated with the digital trends. Previously worked as a banker, she has been a student of Economics and Human Resources. An ardent believer of Universe and optimism, she writes poetry and quotes to satiate her soul. She is always keen on nature, traveling, music and photography.

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