Updated Monday, July 17, 2023

Data segregation, or data separation, refers to the practice of categorizing and organizing data based on specific criteria, such as sensitivity, confidentiality, access rights, or regulatory requirements. It involves implementing controls to ensure that different types of data are stored, accessed, and managed appropriately.

Here are a few reasons why you should care about data segregation:

  1. Data Protection and Security: Segregating data allows you to apply appropriate security measures based on the sensitivity of the information. By separating sensitive data from less critical data, you can implement stricter access controls, encryption, monitoring, and other security measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, breaches, or misuse.
  2. Compliance with Regulations: Many industries and regions have specific regulations regarding data protection and privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States. Data segregation helps you comply with these regulations by ensuring that personal, sensitive, or regulated data is handled according to the required standards.
  3. Risk Mitigation: By segregating data, you can mitigate the potential impact of security incidents or data breaches. If an unauthorized user gains access to one category of data, segregating it from other types of data can help contain the breach and minimize the exposure of sensitive information.
  4. Data Management and Efficiency: Organizing data into separate categories or segments can improve data management and efficiency. It allows for easier identification, retrieval, and analysis of specific data sets, enabling better decision-making, reporting, and data governance.
  5. Business Continuity: Data segregation can support business continuity efforts. By categorizing data based on criticality or importance, you can prioritize backup, disaster recovery, and continuity plans accordingly. In the event of a system failure or data loss, you can focus resources on restoring and recovering the most vital data first.

Overall, data segregation helps protect sensitive information, comply with regulations, mitigate risks, enhance data management, and ensure the continuity of critical business operations. By implementing effective data segregation practices, organizations can safeguard their data, maintain trust with stakeholders, and reduce the potential negative consequences associated with data breaches or non-compliance.

Implementing data segregation at a lower level, such as how NextLabs’ Data Access Enforcer (DAE) enforces data segregation at the data access level, can make that segregation more robust and less likely to be compromised by reducing the systems or applications that have access to the data.  Segregating on the data object level can also be less complex, and the less complexity there is in the system, the less chance there is of something going wrong.