It’s classified: how to safeguard your data

22 Aug 2018
UNSW Library

We are all responsible for managing our data. Here’s how to decide which data matters most and how to make sure it is secure. 

Not all data assets are of equal importance to UNSW, and not all should be treated equally. To put it simply, in order to protect UNSW data, you need to know exactly what data you are trying to protect. Data classification is the process of organising data into categories for its most effective and efficient use. Data Classification is akin to putting a sticker on a box saying “Fragile! Handle with care!”. 

UNSW Data Classification Standard is a framework for assessing data sensitivity, measured by the adverse business impact a breach of the data would have upon the University. This standard for the University community has been created to help effectively manage information in daily mission-related activities. Determining how to protect and handle data depends on a consideration of the data’s type, importance, and usage. The standards outline the minimum level of protection necessary when performing certain activities, based on the classification of the data being handled.  

  • Identify: Identify the data 
  • Locate: Identify where the data resides and identify who is the Data Owner 
  • Classify: Categorise and determine which data needs to be protected  
  • Handling: Determine what data handling guidelines need to be adopted for the data 
  • Value: Assign a value to the data 

UNSW Data Governance team is helping all UNSW individuals/divisions in managing, classifying, protecting and governing the data held by UNSW. Every staff member is responsible for following the Data Classification Standard for managing the data in a secure manner. 

For more information, please visit or contact the Data Governance Team