What comes first - Data Leakage Prevention or Data Classification?

With PM Modi`s “ Make in India” Campaign in place, there has been a lot of talk on increase in the number of manufacturing industries in India. With an aim to develop its own “Know-Hows”, trade secrets, innovation mechanisms, needless to say it comes along with many understated challenges. One of such challenge this campaign faces, is the issue of Data protection in the country. While the world is still struggling with the issue outside, India has its own advantages and disadvantages of being a being a fairly new player in the race.

Wasn’t life simple when as a kid, if you had to hide something from your brother/sister or put the money (you managed to collect and save), in the “safe keep place” -  a dense corner of your wardrobe or the highest shelf you could find in the house where no one could see it. If only you could do the same with data in corporations these days or could just lock up the computer system in the room and go off to sleep. Life would have been simpler but only if that was a possibility.

Thanks to the growing technology, this possibility has become all the more distant. The ability to manage data became more complex with Big Data that has integrated all forms of data and made possible to develop newer insights. Then, the Cloud hit the industry that put all the information up somewhere making businesses more agile, giving the option of having private or a public cloud. Last but not the least, now the industry is boomed with Smart-Connected Device that has made possible to do business anytime, anywhere.

With such vastness taking over the world, it is quite certain that it is impossible to find a “safe keep place” for all your processes, applications and information.

The year 2009 saw DLP (Data Leakage Protection) as the buzzword around the world and remains to be the golden rule for data protection across the globe. Although, as per reports it will still take 3 years for India to witness the full boom of the Data Protection industry, but the change is happening now. A growing number of organizations are implementing the DLP technology at home.

Taking into account the constantly growing number of data leaks, including the incidents with huge financial losses, there is an increasing = demand for data protection solutions among Indian CIOs. The companies have started to understand the severity of data leakage problem.

However, these organizations that are still fairly new to the data protection technology often forget that DLP adoption comes as a second step. Data Classification, that is the practice of segregating data as being risky, non-risky, confidential or non-confidential, which in turn gives greater clarity in terms of being more content aware about the data in your organization, is the first step in implementing the data protection solution in your organization.

The rising number of data leakage cases has pointed to the fact that there are processes that needs to be followed for DLP to work effectively. Since more than 80% of Data in companies is unstructured, it becomes all the more significant that the management takes the effort to monitor and at least prioritize the data as per the impact it has, on the company. Most of the organizations today are not aware about what data they have, how it can be used and where it can be found. Data classification does just this!

Also as stated earlier, with more complex and huge amount of data present, it often goes out of bounds to expect that all your processes, functions, data or applications could be saved in time of crisis. If the hackers have got a leeway into your system, they wouldn’t take the time to think what all they want. Since they would have the handles to all doors, they would just take everything they can find.

With your Data Classified and DLP in place ,

Data classification can differ from organization to organization, as the data being risky/ Non Risky, Confidential/Non Confidential or can be segmented as being Essential, Important and Desirable. It becomes indispensable to prioritize your data in the way that the most essential of the information/processes doesn’t get lost.

By not classifying your data, you are putting all the data under the vulnerability scope.  By putting them under different categories, you are reducing this vulnerability purview and at least securing the most essentials of your organization. This makes the false positive ratio go low. Also, this saves up the investment costs done on DLP , as now your are not putting money on all data but have the leverage of putting money in the most critical of the segments.

With More Organizations leveraging Big Data and Cloud Applications, DLP and Data Classification becomes all the more significant with “Make In India” campaign taking the full swing in the country.  Its time that the Indian Corporations find its “highest place of safe keep” along with the things they want to keep in the “safe keep”!

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