What classification of data requires the strongest level of security protection?
Organizing data into relevant subgroups makes it easier to use and safeguard data efficiently. This process is known as data classification, which helps companies prevent or limit cyber threats.
Data classification is especially important when it comes to risk management, regulatory compliance, and overall data security. In this article, we’ll cover what data classification is, its importance, and how solutions such as WinZip® Enterprise enable data security through data classification.
Categorizing Data Risk
Classifying data does more than make data easier to find. Companies produce large volumes of data and understanding what kinds of sensitive information your organization holds is essential to optimizing security efforts.
The average organization’s data volume grows approximately 63% per month, which requires an organized framework to drive adequate data protection measures. Some data is more sensitive and important than others, so data classification helps you identify which data sets require higher levels of protection. For example, your organization’s internal emails and documents require greater protection than your public website content.
There are four common types of data classification levels. These levels are based on the type of data, its sensitivity, and the risk to your company if the data is compromised.
Why Data Classification is Important
Data classification is a foundational component of your company’s overall data security. It is what enables you to make knowledgeable decisions regarding how to protect information from both external and internal threats.
It is impossible to deploy all your security resources to protect every piece of data. By grouping data sets into one of the four classification levels, you are better able to identify the range of controls needed to keep it safe.
For example, highly sensitive data (e.g., restricted, confidential) requires a significant amount of your resources to keep it safe. Otherwise, it could pose severe risks to your organization if it is exfiltrated or accessed by unauthorized users.
Risk management is how businesses identify, assess, and control factors that could threaten their capital and earnings. An important element of a risk management program is establishing full visibility over all the data a company collects, stores, and transmits.
Most enterprise-level organizations deal with a high volume of multiple types of data. Data classification helps you provide the right level of protection based on the data’s value, sensitivity, and the risk posed to the organization if that data is lost, stolen, or exposed.
Companies that leverage data classification are better positioned to protect organizational assets. Each data classification category includes information relevant to risk management, such as security considerations for the safe retrieval, transmission, and storage of data.
According to Gartner, modern privacy regulations will cover the personal information of 65% of the world’s population by 2023. This makes it more important than ever to ensure the integrity, security, and availability of your organizational data.
To date, around 80 counties have enacted data privacy laws. Even the United States is moving closer to establishing a national standard for data protection—a draft of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) was released by a bipartisan committee in June 2022. For now, Americans’ data is protected through a patchwork of state-and sector-specific laws.
Data classification ensures that sensitive, regulated data stays in compliance with all applicable rules, regulations, and privacy laws. Some of these common compliance provisions include the following:
Comprehensive Data Security
You cannot protect data if you don’t know which type of data and information your company has, where it is stored, or the controls required to protect it. This is why data classification is critical to your overall data security strategy. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to security measures, data classification informs which areas need additional risk controls.
For example, restricted data is the most sensitive data classification level. As such, it requires the highest level of control over how users’ access, share, and interact with this data. This is why many enterprises encrypt their sensitive data, which renders information inaccessible without the correct encryption key.
While confidential data is less sensitive than restricted data, it still needs a high level of protective control. It’s also important to control access and sharing of confidential data, even within your organization. A data classification system makes it easy to apply the appropriate access controls and restrictions based on data sensitivity.
To protect their most sensitive data, companies leverage WinZip Enterprise. This comprehensive solution makes it easy to encrypt, compress, back up, and share critical data.
Depending on the data classification level, you can keep information safe with file encryption or convert files to PDFs and protect them with a password. WinZip Enterprise is also highly customizable, giving your IT teams the ability to set and enforce encryption standards, password policies, access controls, and more.
Discover how WinZip Enterprise can help your organization become more secure through data classification.
What type of data requires the strongest protections?
126.96.36.199 Critical Data - Critical data has the highest need for availability. If the information is not available due to system downtime, modification, destruction, etc., the University's functions and mission would be impacted. Availability of this information must be rigorously protected.
Which type of classification gets the highest level of protection?
(1) Top Secret. Top Secret refers to national security information or material which requires the highest degree of protection. The test for assigning Top Secret classification is whether its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.
What data classification requires the highest level of protection and care?
Restricted data — Highly sensitive internal data. Disclosure could negatively affect operations and put the organization at financial or legal risk. Restricted data requires the highest level of security protection.
Which is the most important protection for information classified as?
The highest level of security controls should be applied to Restricted data. Data should be classified as Private when the unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction of that data could result in a moderate level of risk to the University or its affiliates.