Data Classification is about categorizing data into buckets to make it easier to retrieve, restrict access to, and protect. Data classification is important for businesses protect data according to its criticality or sensitivity. For example, companies need to protect HIPAA data differently that marketing campaigns. Consequently, they should be placed into separate protective containers (folder, network segments, or applications) rather than co-mingled with company’s main file server user directories. By labeling and protecting information according to its categorizations, it helps employees access materials faster and helps ensure only authorized users may access protected data. These categories should be used in concert with principle of Least Privilege to further protect your data.
What does this mean for an SMB?
- Identify critical and sensitive categories of information at your business (consider intellectual property, trade secrets, and regulated data – HIPAA, PCI etc).
- Secure and lock down critical and sensitive data as prescribed in the Information Handling Policy.
- Track and protect regulated data to comply with regulations like HIPAA, PCI, or GDPR.
- Optimize search capabilities with data indexing.
- Discover statistically significant patterns or trends inside data.
- Optimize storage by identifying duplicate or stale data.