Data Classification: how it supports corporate governance and compliance management

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The next article is, as announced, something that may be of interest to the compliance department. One of main area for concern of cybersecurity is compliance with regulations. And the second area of ​​distinction known by Gartner for Software File Analysis is the support of corporate governance and regulatory compliance support.

It is worth mentioning here what are these terms in the organization.

Corporate governance sets the tone for the whole company’s attitude to risk, ethics and business practices. Compliance, on the other hand, reflects this approach in relation to specific laws and regulations.

As it is easy to see, both of these areas have a direct impact on the way the company conducts business and broadly understood operational activity. Both have always been associated with a lot of paperwork and chaos among forms, prints, statements and reports. As digitization continues, the problem has not disappeared – rather it has become more of a problem.

Creating a Word or pdf spreadsheet is much easier than finding, taking out and filling in a paper form. Talking to our clients, we have the opportunity to see that digitization has only increased the degree of information entropy within the data processed by corporate governance & compliance.

The classification tool solves this problem in 4 simple steps
  1. Helps to identify data subject to GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, PCI, SOX and future regulations.
  2. Applies metadata tags to protected data to enable additional tracking and file auditing.
  3. Enables quarantine, legal hold, archiving and other regulatory activities.
  4. They greatly facilitate the implementation of “right to be forgotten” and data access requests (DSARs).

This use case focuses on “known” requirements, such as legal requirements. Effective metadata and data content management provide visibility into data flows, the ability to conduct impact analysis, a common data model, business dictionary and deadline accountability, and an audit trail for regulatory compliance. While privacy laws are enacted with the individual in mind, in this case file analysis tools focus more on protecting organizations from auditing failure and negative public disclosure, as well as respecting time constraints. File Analysis with Rights Management Assessment can help classify data and upload it to appropriate platforms for management, record keeping, compliance and analysis. Since no further considerations are presented in the guide itself, we extend them for this use case as well.

You will see the effects below.

Identification of data subject to GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, PCI, SOX and future regulations

We can assume with a high degree of probability that every company that has a data classification tool has data protection awareness. For those who do not have it, there is an identification phase in every data protection strategy. Thanks to the classifier, we can ensure proper data identification. Here, however, it is worth referring to the last article, the key task is to determine in which categories of information (which you will use in your project) the data protected by a specific regulation will be and how to take it into account.

  • Subjective definition of “groups” of data – according to the indicative sensitivity level

  • The level of confidentiality required by specific data groups covered by specific regulations

  • The potential impact that a data breach or corruption would have on the individuals involved

  • The importance of the availability of this data

The classification tool is a sort of “facilitator” for managing data that contains regulated information.

Apply metadata tags to protected data for additional tracking and file auditing

File analysis tools help you create a data map, data location, and related metadata tags, and apply new tags. Those that create indexes are especially helpful. They can support the handling of processes that require knowledge of data location and their interrelationships

Data processing, in particular in the field of sovereignty, privacy, financial, health and legal regulations aimed at promoting proper business practices, documenting business activities and data, and protecting persons and identity.

Allowing quarantine, legal suspension, archiving and other activities required by law

File quarantine or files retained in connection with explanatory activities and archiving is a useful function during audits:

  • Certain types of violations require the isolation of files related to an investigation.

  • Company policies may include data isolation.

  • Archiving of data for a specified period of time is required by many legal regulations.

Facilitating the implementation of the “right to be forgotten” and data access requests (DSARs)

Supporting critical data and data privacy minimization phases such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and helping to identify business practices and other data processing activities is another an advantage of the classification system. In some cases, file analysis is also used as the first step for e-Discovery purposes.

If there is an ongoing discussion of data management as part of corporate governance and compliance with regulations in your organization, it is worth mentioning that their classification is a natural first step.

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Find more: Data classification 

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