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Discover and Classify Your Data

Provide your data with the protection it deserves.

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  • Huge volumes of all different types of data make data discovery a daunting task. With such backlogs of information, it can be difficult to figure out where to start classification.
  • End users are one of the weakest links in data security. Ensuring their ability to accurately classify and handle sensitive information requires significant awareness and training.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Data classification is a huge undertaking, and the process is never really finished, as new data is created daily. However, the stress can be managed by following these tips:

  • Avoid analysis paralysis
    Classifying all your data at once may not be feasible. Start small, quantify your results, report them to management, and then go back and tackle a larger portion. For many, it may be best to focus on classifying new data as it’s created. Once the process is smoothed out, then move on to classifying legacy data.
  • Remember that data is dynamic
    Data, by its nature, does not stay static. A piece of data’s criticality will peak, but strategic reassessment will eliminate under/overprotection of data. Data classification must be a program, not a project.
  • Classify what matters
    Focus the program on data whose classification is measurable, auditable, and manageable.

Impact and Result

This blueprint will help you to understand where your data lives and who has access to it so that you can develop an appropriate data classification system by conducting interviews with data owners and by incorporating vendor solutions to make the process more manageable and end-user friendly.

  • Formalize the data classification initiative with the proper policies and handling standards, as well as a structured steering committee to ensure accountability and consistency.
  • Understand where your data lives and what controls are implemented to protect it. Make sure the protection is proportional to the sensitivity and criticality of the assets.
  • Understand what tools are available to implement an efficient data classification program – whether provided by a third party or done in-house. Know how and when to revisit classifications to keep them up to date.
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Discover and Classify Your Data

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should classify your data, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

2. Discover the data

Understand the importance of data discovery and how to incorporate human- and technology-based tools to simplify the discovery process.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 2-phase advisory process. You'll receive 3 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Build organizational readiness
  • Call #1 - Discuss project rationale for a DLM, including benefits and pain relief.
  • Call #2 - Review initiatives for the organization to enable a DLM.

Guided Implementation #2 - Integrate and incent a DLM
  • Call #1 - Discuss research recommendations and review initiatives.

Contributors

  • Charles Tatosi Chavapi – Information Security Manager, Debswana Mining Industry
  • Ken Dewitt – IT Director, Navajo County
  • Jim Finlayson – IT Director, City of Grand Junction
  • Lian Guan – Enterprise Information Management Advisor, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
  • Diane Kelly – Information Security Manager, Colorado Judicial ITS
  • Leon Letto – Senior Technical Sales Engineer, AirWatch
  • Jim McGann – VP, Marketing and Business Development, Index Engines, Inc.
  • William Mendez – Information System Security Officer, City of Miami
  • Ian Parker – Head of Corporate System Information Security, Risk, and Compliance, Fujitsu Services
  • Claudiu Popa – President & CEO, Informatica Corporation
  • Doug Waram – Director of IT, County of Wellington
  • Chris Whiting – Solutions Architect, APA Group
  • Three anonymous contributors