Small business data classification labels

Data Classification Labels for Your Small Business

April 05, 2022
Having trouble with data classification in your small business? Here are three classification labels you can use.

Why Data Classification Labels are Important

Data classification labels help determine how much security a piece of data requires.The higher the classification, the more security controls required to protect the data.

Compliance and Data Classification

Data classification requirements can often be driven by legal or contractual requirements. In this blog article we are assuming that your organization does not have any specific legal data classification requirements or a data classification scheme it must comply with. With that being said, here are three classification labels that your small business can leverage.

Data Classification Labels

Confidential Classification Label

Definition: For use within the company only. Requires special precautions to ensure data integrity and confidentiality is maintained
Examples: Trade Secrets, healthcare information, information that keeps the company competitive
High Impact of Lost or Compromised: Data loss or compromise could be expected to have a severe or catastrophic adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, individuals, or other organizations.

Sensitive Classification Label

Definition: Requires special precautions to ensure data integrity and confidentiality is maintained.
Examples: Financial information, project details, profit earnings and forecast, and PII.
Moderate Impact of Lost or Compromised: Data loss or compromise could be expected to have a serious adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, individuals’ or other organizations.

Public Classification Label

Definition:Disclosure is not welcome, but disclosure would not have an adverse impact on the organization or personnel.
Examples: Information on upcoming projects, Number of personnel working on a project.
Low Impact of Lost or Compromised: Data loss or compromise could be expected to have a negligible adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, individuals’ or other organizations.

Simplicity is Key

For most small organizations three classification labels are sufficient. The more labels you have the more difficult it becomes to classify your data and apply the necessary security controls for the data.
 

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