What is Information lifecycle security management?


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Inside ILS
ILS has many moving parts, including the following:

  • INFORMATION CLASSIFICATION. Data classification and reclassification--spanning the phases of information creation, modification, retention and destruction--is a cornerstone of ILS. Information classification is matched with ILS policies that determine how the information is monitored and protected over time.

  • INFORMATION FLOW. Information goes through a constant process of distribution and change. For example, information in an employee database containing healthcare and salary information may be replicated to numerous other applications, shared among benefits providers, and imported into desktop applications like Microsoft Access and Excel. To keep track of this information flow, ILS tags and tracks information movement and modification.

  • INFORMATION ACCESS. ILS maps information access directly to users. This may seem like nothing new, but distributed application architectures often aggregate user accounts into a single system account when accessing information, so it's difficult, if not impossible, to accurately gauge who's accessing what data. ILS is designed to address this shortcoming.


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  • has a digital-rights management component to it. A CEO may have carte blanche to do whatever they want with company information, while a human resources administrator isn't allowed to print, save or e-mail regulated information. This is where ILS policy is actually monitored and enforced.

  • INFORMATION RISK MANAGEMENT. ILS includes information security and data protection. In other words, protecting information aggregates security, backup, offsite storage and disaster recovery activities.

This was first published in July 2006

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