Communicate and Remediate
Measure No. 4: Communicate and remediate
Finding sensitive data is obviously an important part of classification projects but it's not the final stage. After obtaining results, organizations need to get it into the hands of decision makers-which are typically data owners and Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) teams-so that these people can understand the situation and begin formulating remediation strategies and plans.
Data owners are typically in the best position to identify exactly what the content is, whether the data is stored in the right place, and who should and should not have access to it. They can also help build a remediation strategy and process, especially once they are armed with specific examples involving their own data. GRC staff can provide the overall oversight needed to ensure that data is being protected in accordance with the organization's objectives. And, these teams can use result reports as the basis of documentation for audit requirements.
Measure No. 5: Regularly recheck data
Businesses should establish a process of periodically rechecking data to ensure an accurate view of sensitive data. Data is constantly growing and changing, thus there is a need to do so. Ideally, organizations should limit searches to newly-added data to determine if it contains sensitive information and to existing data that has been modified to determine if it has either gained or lost relevance to classification projects. Organizations should provide data owners and GRC staff with updated intelligence based on rescanning.
To find the important data among all an organization's unstructured data, a data classification solution is needed because there is simply too much data to process and keep pace with manually. While there are many solutions to choose from, a solution that leverages the power of metadata is critical for achieving actionable results. Without metadata, data classification projects can take far too long, and the results they produce typically don't have the context required to remediate problems. Metadata can dramatically cut the time it takes to produce results and can help provide the context required for problem remediation.
Raphael Reich is Senior Director of Marketing at Varonis Systems. Raphael brings over 16 years of product marketing and management experience to Varonis. Prior to joining Varonis, he held product marketing and management roles at Cisco, Check Point, Echelon and Network General. Raphael was also a software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from UCLA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.