Data Classification: Business Challenges and Benefits

Keeping tabs on the myriad of data that is produced within businesses and the ever-changing regulations surrounding it, especially GDPR, can be quite challenging. Whether data is subject to personally identifiable information (PII), payment card industry (PCI) regulations or protected health information (PHI), all data needs to be classified to understand the measures of protection required for compliance.

What are the business challenges with data classification?

Business are often overwhelmed with data including relational (structured) and non-relational (semi-structured or non-structured) including emails. A great deal of data may be redundant, stale and of questionable quality. Without data classification you cannot manage data as a resource for adequate protection to ensure the likes of Office 365 runs effectively and efficiently.

With the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently announcing substantial fines against the likes of British Airways and Marriott Hotels for failure to protect their users data sufficiently, this is an area that cannot be ignored. Protecting the reputation of your business is paramount, or you risk being subjected to fines under GDPR. There are 2 tiers of fines – up to €10 million, or 2% annual global turnover – whichever is greater; or up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is greater. Do you want to risk such a hefty fine, or have your business reputation in tatters from a data breach? Data classification is therefore the perfect way of managing data in every organisation.

2 Key Benefits of Data Classification:
  • Gain Better Control of Your Business Data

Data classification can assist identifying who consumes different types of data and where it is stored – files, emails, SharePoint and Social Media. It also creates transparency in audits and reporting, so as an organisation you can see exactly what data is entering the business.

  • Make more intelligent business data decisions

By simplifying the decision-making around unstructured data, including emails, you can assess the value of your information assets and make informed decisions on protection and data deletion.

To find out more about data classification and how it can help your business or organisation, download a copy of our eGuide “Business benefits from effective data classification, tagging and discovery”.

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