How To Identify Sensitive Data

April 30, 2021

Sensitive data is classified records or private information that is meant to be protected and is made inaccessible to outside parties unless it is granted permission. The data may be available in physical or digital form, but, either way, sensitive data appears as private records.

A moral or legal purpose can also additionally warrant the need to have more difficult regulations on those who can get admission to personal or an organisation’s sensitive data. For example, a data breach in a government organisation could reveal sensitive information, secrets, and techniques to overseas powers.

The same will be applied to person or organisation data, which could pose grave risks like company spying, coverage risk, cyber threats, or a breach withinside the privacy of your clients, or that of your workers. Read about the largest data breaches of 2020 to know more.

The legal definition of sensitive data describes it as information that ought to be protected against unauthorized disclosure. Typically, there are 3 important kinds of sensitive data that hackers tend to exploit, and they are personal information, business information, and classified records. If any of these data fall into the wrong hands, it could deal a deadly blow to the parties concerned, no matter who they are.

The Different Types Of Sensitive Data

The sensitivity of data could be categorized into differing types and decided through federal guidelines, as procured through the security control units, industry-specific, or an individual along with an Information Security Officer.

Sensitive Data May be Categorized Into 4 Types:

1. Public or Low Data Sensitivity

Data with a public class commonly pose a little-to-no hazard if disclosed, on account that public information is freely reachable by anyone. Some examples of public or low data sensitivity are data encompassing a public university directory or a business’s client pricing.

2. Internal or Moderate Data Sensitivity

This is information that isn’t supposed to be made available publicly and whilst there can be a few stages of damage if exposed, that potential damage is minimal. This could appear like a company’s organizational chart or IT provider information.

3. High Data Sensitivity / Confidential Data

If private and confidential records are breached, it may cause enormous damage including exposure to criminal liability, cyber-attacks, etc to an individual or any organization. Examples of this sensitivity level consist of, however, are not confined to, the following: IT safety info, social safety numbers, controlled unclassified info, identifiable human subject research, student loan application data, protected health records, and so on.

4. Restricted Sensitive Data

These are relatively sensitive records that might be blanketed with an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) to limit criminal risk. Examples of sensitive records that could be restricted consist of alternate secrets, credit card details, Potentially Identifiable Information (PII), and so on.

Additionally private information, trade secrets, employee information and customer information, intellectual property records, industry-specific records, and more. Careless disclosure of such information or records can critically damage an individual or nation as a whole.

Protect Your Data And Prevent Exposure

Some steps need to be taken to shield sensitive information. There are 3 steps through which sensitive information may be protected and its exposure prevented.

1. Identify All Sensitive Information

The first step is to become aware of and organize all of the information primarily based on their sensitivity.

2. Quick Reply and Assess Risks

Data robbery and leakage is a habitual hassle and it possibly won’t stop and it is important to investigate or assess the risks you may face. Read to know how to conduct a cyber risk assessment.

3. Monitor and Put into Effect Security Feature

This step entails growing feasible security features to guard in opposition to the robbery of sensitive information. For example implementing cybersecurity solutions such as HackShield, which is a holistic and affordable solution that is simple to use and easy to implement is a good way to protect your sensitive information.

It mitigates cyber risk by:

  1. Instantly discovering sensitive data and applying transparent encryption.
  2. Monitoring and auditing data movement at the endpoint to ensure compliance.
  3. Assessing the level of liability on endpoints and stratify risk.
  4. Tracking and protecting selected data for anyone in the system.
  5. Shutting down access to protected data for terminated employees or discontinued third parties.
  6. Monitoring third-party downloading of protected health information (PHI) on any device.
  7. Writing rules as to who can have access to information.
  8. Preventing the transfer of data to non-authorized targets.

To know more about how to protect and identify your sensitive data, read our blog or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for updates.

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