Last week we blogged about the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend, which allows businesses to save money on costly IT hardware and maximize new technology faster. However, the BYOD model can pose a threat to data security.
Allowing employees to connect to the company’s network and access data on their own phones, laptops, and tablets means the company does not have full control of the devices that access their data. The BYOD security policy outlines the employer’s position and governance to help the IT department manage the employees’ devices and make sure network security is not compromised. But the biggest danger is not being hacked, it’s the increased risk of sensitive data being distributed innocently – even unwittingly – beyond the boundaries of a company’s secure network.
Information classification is the best way to mitigate this security risk.
Information Classification: What You Think It Is
When people think of information classification, an image of a government file stamped CLASSIFIED comes to mind. But information classification is not just for top-secret documents. Taking the time to properly classify digital documents reduces both the risk of leaked information and IT costs.
Information Classification: What It Actually Is
Information classification is a system of marking documents to define their sensitivity and the users who have access to them. Information classification of data is a critical aspect in both Information Protection (IP) and Information Management (IM).
Information Classification: Why It’s Important
Without proper information classification, access control is impossible because the authorized users are not defined. Companies operating under HIPAA regulations and businesses that handle credit card transactions are common examples of environments where information classification is critical; safeguarding and transmitting patient data and credit card numbers is impossible when the information is not classified appropriately.
Companies that fail to install the proper safeguards will be held responsible for information leaks. Properly classifying information is the first step towards access control and serves as the foundation for further security measures. Without it, protecting data is impossible and companies are open to the risk of lost or leaked information.
Implementing a solid information classification policy and a well-defined BYOD policy are simple actions that can have an enormous impact on the security of your company’s data.
To learn more about Information Classification, download our Simple Guide to Information Classification:
About the Author
Jake Kent is an Entrepreneur and Business Owner who specializes in Information Technology. Jake has founded eight companies in the IT Consulting and Delivery, Investment Real Estate, and Community Banking industries. Jake brings vision, leadership and a strong work ethic to the CEO role. He leads by example, possessing remarkable skills, experience and expertise across business strategy, operations, financial management and sales and marketing. Read More…