Gartner Research

Improving Data Security Governance Using Classification Tools


Understanding what sensitive data is where is a prerequisite for effective security and data privacy compliance. DLP alone is not sufficient. Technical professionals facing growing volumes of data in various locations can use tools with data classification capabilities to support these requirements.

Published: 21 March 2018

ID: G00337209

Analyst(s): Mike Wonham

Table Of Contents


  • Overview
  • The Importance of Classification
    • The Governance Framework
    • Classification Can Happen in Many Places
    • Classify to Control and Classify to See
    • Structured Data Classification
    • Classification Needs to Persist Beyond the Organization
  • Classification Tool Capabilities
    • Repositories
    • Content Detection
    • Control
    • Recording the Classification Outcome
    • Orchestrating Classification and Control Tools
  • Strengths of Classification Tools
    • Importance to Security and Data Governance
    • Coverage of File Types
    • Metadata Reporting
    • Availability
  • Weaknesses
    • Interoperation and Metadata Standards
    • Data Movement and Dispersal
    • Repositories
    • Data Tagging Limitations
    • Databases vs. Files


  • Implement Effective Governance to Lay the Groundwork
  • Decide Why You Want Visibility and Classification
  • Identify the Repositories That Will Be in Scope
  • Identify Key Data Flows in the Organization
  • UDC May Be the Quickest Win
  • Build Up Automated Classification Over Time
  • Select Based on the Five Criteria
  • Example Approaches

The Details

  • The Science of Classification
    • Customization
    • Machine Learning
    • Automated Classification Limitations

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