AWS Security Blog

Updated data classification whitepaper, includes guidance on establishing data classification programs

Note from March 25, 2020: This post was originally published on June 20, 2018, along with the Secure Cloud Adoption: Data Classification whitepaper, which has now been refreshed with newer information. We’ve updated our post accordingly.

We’re sharing an update to the Secure Cloud Adoption: Data Classification whitepaper to help customers address data classification. Data classification continues to be a foundational step in cybersecurity governance and risk management. It has been used for decades to help organizations safeguard sensitive or critical data with appropriate levels of protection. Regardless of whether data is processed or stored in traditional, on-premises systems or the cloud, data classification is a starting point for maintaining the confidentiality—and potentially the integrity and availability—of data based on the data’s risk impact level.

This whitepaper offers leading practices for developing a data classification strategy. The updates share how you can classify data, privacy considerations, and examples of different data classification levels and tiers of data that exist in both public and private sector enterprises. It also provides best practices—such as not over classifying data to maximize flexibility—and models you can use to classify data so that you can quickly move workloads to the cloud.

Download and read the updated whitepaper

If you have questions or want to learn more, contact your account executive or contact AWS Support.

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Momena Cheema

Momena is passionate about evangelizing the security and privacy capabilities of AWS services through the lens of global emerging technology and trends, such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and machine learning through written content, workshops, talks, and educational campaigns. Her goal is to bring the security and privacy benefits of the cloud to customers across industries in both public and private sectors.


Min Hyun

Min is the Global Lead for Growth Strategies at AWS. Her team’s mission is to set the industry bar in thought leadership for security and data privacy assurance in emerging technology, trends and strategy to advance customers’ journeys to AWS. View her other Security Blog publications here


Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson is a Senior Security Advisor with AWS Security where he focuses on addressing the security, compliance, and privacy needs for customers and industry globally. Additionally, Tim designs solutions, capabilities, and practices to teach and democratize security concepts to meet challenges across the global landscape. Previous to AWS, Tim had 16 years’ experience designing, delivering, and managing security and compliance programs for U.S. Federal customers across DoD and federal civilian agencies.