Magazine Button
Best practices in post-pandemic data classification

Best practices in post-pandemic data classification

Enterprise SecurityFeaturesThought LeadershipTop Stories

Jaime Muñoz, Director of Business Development for Brazil at HelpSystems, tells us about the main steps to protect sensitive data. According to him, automation plays a central role in data governance.

Jaime Muñoz, Director of Business Development for Brazil at HelpSystems

The constant need to protect sensitive data, whether intellectual property, financial or personal, involves not only the companies that hold custody of it, but also demands attention from its holders, that are the real owners of the data, in the information protection network.

As an ally of data classification, automation plays a central role in data governance and helps to maintain the necessary balance between technology and people training, aiming to achieve an inclusive safety culture.

The need for an appropriate data security support and a robust security culture across the enterprise have become central concerns for CISOs, not only as a result of the pandemic, but also with the new business demands, remote working environments and operational constraints.

As data volumes continue to grow, maintaining confidentiality, integrity and availability of data has become a priority for all security leaders. Managing the data lifecycle that is continuously evolving requires a solid posture that includes investment in appropriate data classification tools.

To support this, employee education programs must integrate and inform teams about key data management and handling processes across the organization. In this context, automation becomes the third critical ingredient to guarantee success on this journey.

Collaboration and contribution of stakeholders in data protection

The data usage requirements between two organizations are not the same. It is the creators and users of the data who bring the in-depth knowledge and insights that facilitate classification for future access and use. They also provide the knowledge base that informs automated protection and access control rules.

Besides providing the first insights into the data they generate, your stakeholders must understand your organization’s data protection policies so that the right levels of control can be applied right at the source of the data.

For CISOs, it is important that data policies across the enterprise are fully and easily understood to ensure a consistent approach to classifying data and controlling data usage.

Post-pandemic data protection: The challenges will remain huge

At a basic level, corporate data protection must extend to ensure a deep understanding of which data is kept and where it is held and, therefore, knowing what different levels of security controls are required to keep the many categories of data secure.

From a data protection perspective, companies must first recognize that not all data is the same. With this in mind, different controls are required to ensure that different types of data are not lost or accessed by unauthorized people.

In addition to the high-level requirement to protect sensitive, critical and business-critical data, companies must also apply different data protection rules extended to other categories of data.

Financial confidential data is different from confidential HR data, and it is also different from what is used by the legal department. They all have different life cycles, different third-party agents that can access them, and potentially different reporting and storage ubiquity.

If the data does not differ, the protection tools are not as effective as they could be. A classification that supports the business – not only a check mark – includes a more granular and comprehensive classification.

Keeping the focus on the business context and on the ability to meet regulatory requirements, as in the Brazilian General Data Protection Law, is critical. Besides that, it’s necessary to prioritize the providing intelligent data protection capabilities to make the right decisions about access and availability to systems and databases, to deliver efficiency and automation based on technology and ensure suitable support for the growing volumes of data that came from remote workforces.

Automating data classification for optimized security

Companies that have adapted better to the COVID-19 pandemic era will use automation, data-driven digital access technologies and cloud, aiming at improved operations and efficiencies. With the remote workforce taking place across enterprises, more data will be generated outside of the traditional on-premises workplace – more than ever before. Enabling secure access to users and data will then be critical.

The huge volume of data involved will make protecting sensitive information even more difficult and will create an urgent need for more inclusive and automated ways to protect data.

Automation will make a significant contribution to improving post-pandemic operational efficiency, as well as providing agile and automated operations with secure access to the user and data at the heart of strategies.

Data classification technologies will be vital to protect data from the application of differentiated and appropriate security identification labels, in addition to helping educate users on how to handle different types of data with different levels of classification according to the relative level of sensitivity applied to that document.

The importance of a strong safety culture and team education programs

Just as automation plays a critical role in establishing a strong basis for an organization’s data security culture, employees play a vital role in ensuring that the company will maintain a strong data privacy posture.

It is essential to have the ability to work with stakeholders and users to understand and comply with data protection requirements and policies. Therefore, data protection and security education must be conducted across the enterprise and it must be at a level that is both viable and sustainable.

Regular awareness training will guarantee that data security becomes a part of daily work practice, embedded in all actions and at the very heart of the company. A data classification solution, which enforces data care policies and protocols along with reporting and management information from this activity, will be necessary for all organizations and will be particularly relevant as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to the new reality of business, labor relations and data handling.

The need to provide optimal operational efficiencies, data management and data classification under budget constraints imposed by the pandemic must also be considered and will be an on-going business challenge.

Doing nothing, however, will cause failure, and we’ve seen huge fines for those who don’t invest in data security as a priority. Data leaders, therefore, must be selective and identify the combination of technologies, processes and people investments that will provide the best security controls.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

LATAM English

View Magazine Archive