Exploring Windows Server’s Data Classification Infrastructure to Find Private Data and Comply with GDPR, et al

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Data classification has been around for a while but with GDPR and related legislation in California, this technology is getting lots more attention. Because knowing what kind of data you have and where it is located is a critical step in compliance.

In this real training for free event, we are going to dive into the File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) which first appeared in Windows Server 2008 R2 and continues to be enhanced in later versions of Windows.

With FCI you can set up rules that automatically classify files based on various factors, such as location, or content such as simple strings or regular expressions. FCI uses Windows Search to crawl your file servers and automatically classify the files based on the classification properties and rules you set up. Once files have been classified, FCI can perform specified actions on them, such as moving them to a specified directory or encrypting them.

FCI adds classification metadata to files using the NTFS Alternate Data Stream (ADS). Files retain their classification provided that they are stored on an NTFS volume. If a file is moved to a FAT32 or ReFS volume, it loses its classification. One exception to this rule is Microsoft Office files; because classification metadata is stored in the files and the NTFS ADS, classification is not lost when files are moved to the cloud — think SharePoint.

We will explore all of this and then see how Dynamic Access Control (DAC) in Windows Server works with FCI to provide classification properties that are centralized in Active Directory (AD), rather than set locally on each file server.

And we’ll talk about the Data Classification Toolkit, which provides more classification properties for meeting common regulatory compliance standards, like HIPAA and GDPR.

But like most technologies in Windows, FCI is a core/foundation technology. So, I will be sure to show you the gaps in FCI. And that’s where our sponsor, Netwrix, comes in. Jeff Melnick, solutions engineer, will show you how Netwrix Auditor can help you:

  • Identify and classify the sensitive data you store
  • Ensure that access controls around your PII, PHI, PCI and IP are risk-appropriate
  • Detect unauthorized activity around your regulated information
  • Reduce the exposure of sensitive data by automatically quarantining it, redacting it or removing global access permissions

This is going to be a great technical webinar, please join us!

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