Data Classification: The Bank For Your Data

Employee round-table discussion
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The implementation of data security software within an organisation is never without its trials – no matter what size the organisation, how much data they hold, or how watertight their security policy is. The thing is, that before you can even reach the point of implementing software, you have to have the buy in from the key decision makers within the organisation, who can sometimes take a little more convincing to part with some of their annual budget.

Some questions you might face from anyone when looking to implement a data classification tool is the necessity of the product within the organisation; what benefit is it going to bring, why would we need that and how much is that going to cost us? The answers to these are fairly straight forward.

In today’s world, data that organisations hold is hugely valuable in more ways than one. Traditionally you would associate the value of your data solely on the knowledge it brings to your organisation, but increasingly, the data you store is going to have a monetary value to it too. As I am sure you are well aware by now, we have little over a year until the new EU GDPR comes into force. The initiation of this regulation brings with it the threat of huge fines. For example, should you be subject to a data breach, or be caught mishandling the data you hold on any EU citizen you could be fined either 4% of your annual global turnover, or €20million, whichever is higher to be precise.

When we look at data in this way, or it holding a monetary value to your organisation, you need to be asking this question: “Would you be happy knowing all your money was sitting somewhere unsecured, and open to the possibility that at any moment anyone (even people you really trust) could do what they like with it, sometimes without even realising they had done anything at all?” No is the very clear answer to that one.

When dealing with money, we know this is a precious resource that needs to be properly protected at all times.  For most, this means keeping money in a secure bank account, where only authorised people have access to the funds. Not only are accounts secure, and separated on an individual basis by their account number, but the funds within that account can also be identified according to their value as well. In currency all over the world, notes contain watermarks which differ depending on the value of the note. These watermarks allow anyone to quickly identify the value of your money. So why not transfer this thinking to your data? Now more than ever data, and specifically its security, is worth a great deal to your organisation, and the fines for mishandling it could be crippling.

Just like a bank protects your money, data classification protects your data; information is money. Therefore, when dealing with key decision makers, and trying to get the organisational buy in for a data classification solution – and questions arise – it should be fairly simple to get across: data (alongside staff) is the biggest asset to an organisation, and it needs to be adequately protected. Alongside adequate protection, it is important to be able to identify your sensitive data, using visual labels and metadata, such as the banks use watermarks on currency. As long as your key decision makers understand this, and the implications that can arise from not being prepared and protected, then implementing a data classification solution, such as Boldon James Classifier, is a no-brainer!

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help your organisation get ready for the GDPR, avoid hefty fines, and protect your most valuable assets.