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ownCloud Document Classification: A holistic solution to data protection

The ownCloud Document Classification feature was designed to empower organizations to restrict access to files based on their content and/or meta-data, to secure the process of file sharing and prevent unauthorized access to documents and consequent data breach.

What exactly is document classification?

Document classification is a process of labeling or tagging data into various categories or classes, based on their type and content. Documents, blueprints, reports, invoices, photos, emails, and various other kinds of data, can potentially be classified by this method.

Automatic document classification aims to simplify the management of a large volume of information or data and offer a high level of data security.

The ownCloud Document Classification Application

The ownCloud Document Classification application offers a feature that recognizes security levels in the metadata of documents and imposes sharing and access restrictions accordingly. This enables users to automatically classify documents in ownCloud and to easily define usage policies.

Data Classification at ownCloud works with the system of tagging.

Tagging of documents in ownCloud

Many organizations use software that regulates the confidentiality of certain files, but is only partially compatible with company-wide file sharing systems, for example, Microsoft Azure Information Protection and NovaPath allow files to be labeled with certain levels of confidentiality.

Document Classification in ownCloud is carried out through various kinds of tags:

  • Manual tagging (performed by users), for example, invisible files (only by admins), filter files etc.
  • Automated tagging based on user or file properties

– Users

– File type, size etc.

  • Automated tagging based on document metadata

ownCloud Document Classification

Document Classification protects data

Enterprises all over the world have been facing an increasing threat of data loss and data breach. Very often, human errors, lack of user awareness about data security, negligence and hacking attempts are the factors that expose organizations to cybercrimes, resulting in disastrous losses for the companies in terms of time, finances and goodwill.

However, in the modern workplace, it is also exceedingly important that remote teams are able to efficiently collaborate and exchange information with other users both inside and outside the organizational infrastructure, across all devices and regardless of geographical boundaries.

This is where document classification steps in. In conjunction with other established security features (for example, File Firewall), far-
reaching, automated measures can be
taken to provide the most comprehensive protection for corporate data to date. With this method, it is easy for enterprises to develop policies and guidelines for each security level; for example, documents tagged as Confidential might not be shared externally, accessed by public links or uploaded to ownCloud at all.

File-access mechanisms can be specified that automatically apply when users attempt to perform restricted actions (for example, creating public links or access by unauthorized users). This ensures that users are able to collaborate on confidential documents in a highly secure way.

“By classifying confidential documents and processing them in accordance with the relevant guidelines, our customers can significantly minimize the risk of data privacy violations and guarantee security and control at all times – not only within companies but also in cooperation with customers and partners”, emphasizes Holger Dyroff, COO at ownCloud.

ownCloud Document Classification is particularly recommended if your enterprise works with valuable and/or sensitive data, for example, financial data, contracts, blueprints, and so on.

ownCloud Document Classification is GDPR-compliant

The feature was developed in cooperation with a major German automotive supplier and represents an essential component for complying with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and standards such as ISO 27001/2, which is recommended by the German Association of the Automotive Industry.

In combination with the proven File Firewall and Workflow extensions, ownCloud offers a highly comprehensive protection for company data and enables enterprise file sharing even in industries that have strict regulations in place.

Use Case from the automotive industry

Automotive suppliers must ensure compliance with standards such as ISO 27001/2, as the handling of data in accordance with this standard is an industry-wide compliance requirement for cooperation with automobile manufacturers, as recommended by the German Association
of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The
classification of confidential documents and their processing in accordance with the guidelines is a central component for obtaining the corresponding certification.With the Document Classification extension in ownCloud, automotive suppliers can effectively minimize the risk of data privacy violations.

Security and control are guaranteed at all times – both within their own value chain and in cooperation with customers and partners. This means that the requirements for digital collaboration can be fulfilled across company boundaries. In conjunction with other established security features (e.g. File Firewall), far-reaching, automated measures can also be taken to provide the most comprehensive protection for corporate data to date. Thus, even organizations in which the use of the technology was previously not possible due to the high security requirements benefit from the productivity increase of the collaboration platform.

At a glance: Advantages of ownCloud Document Classification Application

  • Comply with information security standards like ISO 27001/2
  • Handle data in compliance with GDPR
  • Manage and categorize large amounts of data easily
  • Manage risks effectively and cover potential data breaches
  • Display the data classification levels to raise user awareness
  • Prevent human mistakes when dealing with sensitive information
  • Fulfil corporate data protection requirements
  • Traceability of the life cycle (storage and use) of sensitive information through central logging

    If you are interested in learning in detail how ownCloud protects your data or wish to step up data security measures for your enterprise, do get in touch. Together, we will come up with the perfect combination of applications and add-ins to suit the unique needs of your business.

Anwesha Ray

July 19, 2022

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