As the amount of data held by organizations grows at a rapid rate, so does their attack surface and compliance risk. The only true way to mitigate this risk is to firstly gain visibility into where data lives, who has access to it and how it's being used, and then implement a robust data protection strategy.
But for companies with large amounts of data, finding it isn’t always easy.
That’s where data classification software comes into play. Data classification is the process of classifying an organization's data based on a set of clearly defined characteristics, allowing the business to separate data by classifications such as its content, how it’s being used, the requirements it needs to comply with data privacy regulations or the sensitivity of its data type.
Data classification not only makes it easy to find data, but it allows organizations to seamlessly determine how each piece of data should be stored, managed, used and shared.
In some cases, data classification can be a manual process, but this is time-consuming and can often lead to human error. The result? Data is poorly protected, easily lost, or outdated, and companies become at risk of regulatory non-compliance.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how your data protection and data compliance strategies can be significantly enhanced through automated data classification.
What is automated data classification?
With the right data classification tools, your organization can let technology do the heavy lifting.
Data discovery and classification software will identify where sensitive data resides across your organization’s network in real time, and automatically classify that data based on predetermined data types chosen by your business.
Automated data classification requires little-to-no work by your organization. The software runs in real-time in the background of your network, identifying sensitive data and automatically implementing your classification policy where required.
In fact, automation is incredibly important to the creation of successful data protection strategies.
A study from the Ponemon Institute found that only 23 percent of organizations used automation extensively (these were called high automation organizations) while 77 percent of organizations used automation moderately, insignificantly, or not at all.
The study said: “Automation can reduce complexity in the IT infrastructure. High automation organizations are more likely to say their organizations have the right number of security solutions and technologies. This can be accomplished by aligning in-house expertise to tools so that investments are leveraged properly.”
What are the benefits of data classification?
Give your team the time they need to focus on core competencies
Manual data classification is not only inaccurate, but it is heavily time-consuming. Automated data classification runs in the background of your organization without the need for input from your team. This saves your employees significant amounts of time that they can use to focus on more important tasks that drive further value to your organization.
Get control of your data
Manual data classification is near impossible, particularly with the vast amount of sensitive data that most organizations manage today. Manual data classification typically leads to a lack of visibility that results in poorly protected data, regulatory non-compliance and data loss. Automated data classification resolves all of those issues, giving your organization complete control of its sensitive data.
Better identify attack surface risk
When you have visibility into your company’s sensitive data through automated data classification, your organization is able to clearly see its attack surface risk. You can use this information to implement a more robust data protection strategy that better protects your sensitive data.
Meet your data privacy compliance requirements
When your business is able to automate data classification, you’ll be able to better enforce data privacy policies across your organizations that ensure you are able to meet legal and regulatory data privacy compliance requirements.
Understand how your sensitive data is being used
When data isn’t classified correctly, it can be easy to lose insight into where that data lives and how it’s being used. Automated data classification gives your business the visibility it needs to know where data is being used, where it lives within your network, and who has access to it.
Interested in learning more about automated data classification, and how it can help enhance your data protection and data compliance strategy? Request a demo today.