Although there are no specific local regulations in Greece which require the organization to use data classification, Allianz Greece do have to follow EU data protection regulations. In order to follow industry best practice, Allianz Greece wanted to place data classification at the core of their data protection efforts, while also replicating the success that other Allianz divisions were experiencing after implementing the Fortra's Classifier Suite solution.
“By using Fortra's Classifier Suite, the information classification process became simple and our users have the accountability (identifying, classifying and labeling data / information) for information security of the information assets they own. By involving our users in data classification they became more data-aware, with a greater understanding of our policies and the value of our organization’s data.”
- Alexandros Ziomas, CIO, Allianz Greece
Allianz Greece is part of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s leading insurance and financial services organizations. With approximately 142,000 employees worldwide, 215 working for Allianz Greece, the Allianz Group serves approximately 85 million customers in more than 70 countries.
Any financial services organization has a plethora of sensitive data to protect, and Allianz Greece is no different. Although there are no specific local regulations in Greece which require the organization to use data classification, they do have to follow EU data protection regulations. However, the primary driver for Allianz Greece was to follow industry best practice in placing data classification at the core of their data protection efforts. In addition, Alliance Greece wanted to replicate the success that other Allianz divisions were experiencing after implementing the Fortra's Classifier Suite solution. Adopting data classification as a core foundation of data security was an approach that was sanctioned by Allianz Group, which further highlighted the need for the Greek operation to consider a solution. A critical local requirement for the organization was to find a solution that would enable them to classify documents both in English and in Greek.
Based upon the successful deployment of Fortra's Classifier Suite within Allianz Ireland and other parts of the Allianz Group, as well as the recommendation received on solution selection direct from Allianz Group headquarters, it was a straightforward decision to implement Classifier.
The core foundation suite of File, Office and Email Classifier was purchased – providing the required levels of core protection for any types of file, documents or email messages. Initially Classifier was implemented as a pilot within the IT department of Allianz Greece, so that they would be able to test the solution and confirm that they were happy with the policy rules and set up in the Classifier Centralized Administration console. To meet the requirements of having a dual language classification solution, the Fortra's Classifier Suite team were easily able to edit the configuration so that classification could be made in either English language, or Greek, dependent on the original language used within the content of the document. Following this configuration amendment, the final version of Classifier was rolled out to 10 ’super-users’ within the organization to trial and give their feedback.
The feedback confirmed that the Classifier trial was successful before the solution was rolled out to the remainder of the organization in July 2015.
Following the roll out, users have confirmed that they find the solution easy to use, and that by enforcing the classification policy it makes it easy for users to understand which level of classification to apply to documents and files created and held within the organization. It has also been important to identify sensitive documents to ensure specific security controls can be applied to enhance data safeguarding, such as blocking emails upon sending or printing. Users praised Classifier for promoting a more secure environment, and the solution now provides an additional peace of mind to all employees that data protection controls are in place.
The implementation of Classifier means that Allianz Greece are now in full compliance with the Group standards; with IT security becoming more crucial every year for the organization. Ongoing, Allianz Greece may look towards segmenting classification labels into department specific classification to cover the Legal, HR and IT departments, meaning they can comply with specific rules and regulations they may face; something that Fortra's Classifier Suite can easily support out of the box.
Fortra's Classifier Suite has enabled Allianz Greece to create a more security conscious culture within their organization, as well as being fully compliant with Group standards. Users now think differently about the data protection requirements they must adhere to, and provides an aid to help them follow corporate policy, whilst from the IT security team’s perspective ensuring that policy is effectively enforced. The solution provides complete classification flexibility with users allowed to classify in either English language, or Greek; something that was crucial when selecting a data classification solution. Allianz Greece are looking to further expand Classifier functionality to separating out classification labels across their Legal, HR and IT departments to be pre-prepared for any rules and regulations they may face in the future. They are also currently exploring how the Classifier Reporting tool can provide more insightful management reports, as they believe this will be hugely beneficial to the organization in the future.