The primary reason most organizations look at classifying the data they create and handle is to control access to sensitive information, driven by the need to manage security risk, and comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, ITAR, and more.
All organizations have to comply with the rules of their industry bodies, as well as the nation states they operate in. Achieving compliance can, therefore, be complicated. There are a myriad of tools available to support the protection and control of data, ranging from point products, to whole integrated suites.
When recently asked what mix of technologies were seen to be the optimum for a strong data protection stance, Senior Analyst at Forrester, Enza Iannoppolo responded “Gaining a good understanding of where data is and what it is that requires protection it is very important. Using technology that can help with this task, such as data discovery and classification, is a good starting point.” While adding “I would say that it’s important to get started with classification ahead of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) implementation.”
While compliance with data protection regulations is non-negotiable, and the penalties for failure are severe, it is a mistake to see compliance solely as an inevitable burden. With a comprehensive and proactive approach, that involves a combination of people, process and technology, organizations can pivot from viewing compliance as an expense and turn it into a positive competitive differentiator and one that, over the long term, will prove to deliver business benefits.
Ultimately, in today’s highly regulated data environment, organizations need to embrace and build an effective compliance strategy, as those that do will experience positive business benefits and undoubtedly reap the rewards. Those with low levels of data privacy protection and data governance software adoption need to change – and change quickly.
By using data classification as the cornerstone to regulatory compliance, organizations can confidently embrace new data protection regulations.