In the last 12 months, analyst reports cited that data classification was a top IT security priority. Therefore, there can be no doubt that it has claimed its rightful place as an integral part of a layered security approach.
Boldon James has over 30 years’ experience of implementing data classification solutions for a wide range of customers, which we are going to share with you in our three part blog series: The Top 10 Tips on Implementing a Successful Data Classification Project, with this post sharing tips one to three.
Keep Your Data Classification Policy Simple
The simpler your policy is, the more likely it is that it will be adopted and used correctly. Keep language and terms used for data classification labels simple – you want to make it immediately obvious what the classification really means and easily discernible from the other choices available. Don’t be afraid of adding business, department or process specific elements into your labelling scheme, as long as the basic elements are simple and common to all.
Involve Your Users in Data Classification
We recommend a data classification method that is driven by users, as opposed to using an automated solution in isolation. Many of our customers plan an awareness campaign to introduce the process of data classification to their users. Engage your users as early as possible in the process to give them time to get to know this new layer in your security provision and provide input to enable you to design the best-fit policy for your organisation. Selecting a data classification tool that allows users to apply visual labels is the first step in making users more aware of their security decisions, as it ensures they will be reminded of the current classification when working with data.
Make Classification Quick and Easy To Use
Data Classification is often a new process for employees, so the task of applying a classification needs to be made as simple as possible. Classification must be a seamless part of the productivity tools that users use on a day-to-day basis – make sure you consider all the applications which your users will employ when creating and managing data. A common user experience across key productivity applications ensures that users can move between them without having to re-learn classification techniques.
Next week in the second installment of our Top 10 Tips, we will be looking at speaking the language of your business, tailoring your scheme and making a plan for legacy data.