Automate Data Classification with Concentric AI

January 6, 2023
Mark Stone
4 min read

Modern cloud solutions and pervasive network connectivity have democratized sharing and collaboration, with enterprises managing millions of documents and dozens of databases every day. This data often contains personally identifiable information (PII), financial information, intellectual property and other sensitive data. 

To protect that data, organizations must find ways to mitigate risk associated with compromised accounts, careless employees, and malicious insiders.

But how can you manage data without knowing how to classify it?

According to a March 2022 Gartner report, “Data classification is critical as most of an organization’s data is in an unstructured format and classifying it manually is cumbersome. Security and risk management leaders need to understand the alternatives to traditional classification approaches and address data security governance.” 

For any organization, managing data risk is no longer a nice-to-have; it must play a crucial role in doing business.

The Gartner report suggests there are benefits to deploying automated data classification tools that leverage machine learning and AI.

The challenges of data classification 

The harsh reality for the modern organization is that it’s increasingly difficult to identify at-risk data, classify it correctly, and limit access to appropriate personnel. Not only that, it’s even harder to find IT staff that possess the content expertise to write effective automation rules. 

When it comes to data discovery, organizations must be confident they know: 

  • Where their business-critical data is
  • What types of data they have
  • If that data has been properly classified


As organizations continue to embrace cloud transformation, every piece of data can easily be shared with anyone, anywhere. But just as easily, that data can be copied, duplicated, modified and shared. 

Data classification for enterprises has become incredibly challenging, as security teams find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place: either writing rules to identify and label data or relying on end-users to self-classify. Both choices represent a complex and error-prone exercise, riddled with false positives and false negatives. 

With the former, IT staff must have content expertise to write effective automation rules or end users must tag each document they create. 

With the latter, asking business units to classify data creates a training burden, doesn’t scale and is extremely unreliable, yielding poor results and resulting in data loss.

How Concentric solves the data classification puzzle

Concentric’s semantic intelligence solution helps you answer your toughest data discovery and classification questions:

  • Can I integrate with existing classification frameworks? 
  • Has my data been properly classified? 
  • What types of data do I have? 
  • Where is my business-critical content?


The Concentric Semantic Intelligence solution uses sophisticated machine learning technologies to autonomously scan and categorize data —  from financial data to PII/PHI/PCI to intellectual property to business-confidential information – wherever it is stored. 

Our solution can scan your data, identify sensitive or business-critical content, identify the most appropriate classification category, and automatically tag the data. Then, depending on your needs and environment, Concentric can automatically remediate permissions and sharing issues on its own or leverage other security solutions and cloud APIs to quickly and continuously protect exposed data. 

Essentially, we use artificial intelligence to improve discovery and classification accuracy and efficiency.

What are the benefits of Concentric’s solution? 

With Concentric, you’ll know where your sensitive data is – whether it’s across unstructured or structured data repositories, email/messaging applications, cloud or on-premises – all with semantic context. You can say goodbye to inaccurate data classification, unmarked data, incomprehensible rule sets, and end-user frustration. 

With Concentric Semantic Intelligence, security teams can identify their sensitive data with semantic context and label data centrally without complex rule writing or relying on end-users.

Plus, Concentric Semantic Intelligence seamlessly integrates with all the leading frameworks including Microsoft’s Information Protection (MIP) solution for data classification and management. Defense-in-depth, a pillar of modern data security planning, is substantially more effective when paired with solutions capable of integrating with other data security products and frameworks.

To sum up, here are the benefits:

  • Identify, classify and remediate sensitive data no matter where it is stored or shared
  • Comprehensive coverage 
  • Efficient and actionable results  
  • No need to rely on and train end-users 
  • Seamlessly integrate with existing classification frameworks
  • Integrate Concentric data classification with email security, DLP or CASB systems for accurate policy enforcement



How does Concentric process my data? 

We organize data into thematic categories for analysis using powerful deep learning technologies for language analysis. Categories are displayed in an easily understandable dashboard. No more hard-to-maintain rules and pattern matching.

How accurate is the Concentric solution at categorizing my data? 

Our natural language processing (NLP) capabilities far exceed the pattern or keyword-based techniques of other automated approaches and solutions. Concentric’s NLP can, for example, interpret the meaning of the same word used in different contexts or interpret the meaning of an entire sentence or paragraph to accurately understand the semantic context of data. The Concentric MIND service catalogs and curates deep learning models to ensure you always have the latest and best-fitting solution for your data. Sophisticated peer file analysis maximizes classification accuracy. 

If I have an end-user classification program in place, can Concentric Semantic Intelligence help?

Yes. Concentric Semantic Intelligence can compare semantically similar data for classification mismatches, end-user errors or malicious insiders, identify anomalies and easily remediate these issues.

Does Concentric integrate with existing data classification frameworks?

As discussed in the benefits above, Concentric seamlessly integrates with all the leading frameworks, such as Microsoft Information Protection (AIP/MIP) to leverage their classification schema to apply the appropriate metadata labels.


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