Take info classification seriously warns the ISF

Overly-complex approaches to information classification rarely deliver business benefits and are often ignored, claims a report by Information Security Forum. Traditional information classification is characterised by the 'Top Secret' rubber stamp in James Bond films, says the report's author, senior ISF research consultant Nick Frost.

Overly-complex approaches to information classification rarely deliver business benefits and are often simply ignored, claims a new report by Information Security Forum (ISF). Traditional information classification is characterised by the 'Top Secret' rubber stamp in James Bond films, says the report's author, senior ISF research consultant Nick Frost.

"Information now exists in many different forms, from paper documents and verbal communications to the masses of electronic data stored, transmitted and processed," Frost added. "While introducing an effective enterprise wide scheme is daunting, organisations can no longer afford to ignore its importance if further embarrassing data losses are to be avoided."

The report reckons that information classification requires a consistent process to determine the level of confidentiality of a piece of information; the development of techniques for communicating the level of classification; and the practical implementation of measures to protect information accordingly.

But the benefits of successful Information Classification 'are considerable', the ISF report says. Information Classification can also help to enforce better access control policies and be used to demonstrate compliance for legislation, such as Data Protection and Privacy along with regulations including HIPAA and Gramm-Leach Bliley.

The report highlights that to achieve these levels of success requires participation across an organisation from human resources and legal, to IT and Audit, along with board level support. www.securityforum.org, www.isfstandard.com

Image: Traditional information classification is characterised by the 'Top Secret' rubber stamp in James Bond films, says the ISF

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