Data classification essentially means assigning a level of sensitivity to data used by an organization, and it forms a critical component of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM). While classification systems vary from country to country, and indeed organization to organization, most have levels corresponding to the following general definitions (from the highest level to lowest): top secret, secret, confidential, restricted (or sensitive) and unclassified.
While computer programs exist that can help with data classification, ultimately it is a subjective business and is often best done as a collaborative task that considers business, technical and other points of view. Different departments within an organization all need to be consulted and will have different views on what is, and isn’t, sensitive and how it is best protected. An additional aspect to consider is whether a document that is confidential today will remain so for the duration of its life. For example, a public company’s financial results will be extremely sensitive prior to announcement, yet, once in the public domain, confidentiality is no longer an issue.
With so many people involved in the decision process, and the constantly changing status of information, it is easy to see what causes delays or even the complete downfall of many data classification projects.
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Source: CTO EDGE
By: Sean Glynn