SUS04-BP01 Implement a data classification policy - Sustainability Pillar

SUS04-BP01 Implement a data classification policy

Classify data to understand its criticality to business outcomes and choose the right energy-efficient storage tier to store the data.

Common anti-patterns:

  • You do not identify data assets with similar characteristics (such as sensitivity, business criticality, or regulatory requirements) that are being processed or stored.

  • You have not implemented a data catalog to inventory your data assets.

Benefits of establishing this best practice: Implementing a data classification policy allows you to determine the most energy-efficient storage tier for data.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: Medium

Implementation guidance

Data classification involves identifying the types of data that are being processed and stored in an information system owned or operated by an organization. It also involves making a determination on the criticality of the data and the likely impact of a data compromise, loss, or misuse.

Implement data classification policy by working backwards from the contextual use of the data and creating a categorization scheme that takes into account the level of criticality of a given dataset to an organization’s operations.

Implementation steps

  • Conduct an inventory of the various data types that exist for your workload.

  • Determine criticality, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data based on risk to the organization. Use these requirements to group data into one of the data classification tiers that you adopt.

  • Periodically audit your environment for untagged and unclassified data, and classify and tag the data appropriately.

  • Establish a data catalog that provides audit and governance capabilities.

  • Determine and document the handling procedures for each data class.

  • Use automation to continually audit your environment to identify untagged and unclassified data, and classify and tag the data appropriately.


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