UK Government Protective Marking Systems [UK GPMS]

The UK Government Protective Marking System (UK GPMS) currently consists of five markings, which in descending order are :

  • TOP SECRET
  • SECRET
  • CONFIDENTIAL
  • RESTRICTED
  • PROTECT

Any document that is not protectively marked is considered "Unclassified".

However, this is to be replaced in April 2014 by a simplified three tier Government Security Classification (GSC) policy, namely :

  • OFFICIAL
  • SECRET
  • TOP SECRET

It is expected that the vast majority of government data and routine business operations will be covered by OFFICIAL, with a likelihood of an OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE marking to be used where stronger controls are necessary.

This change presents a number of challenges :

a) The task of marking the legacy data as well as implementing and enforcing the new policy will, according to some, take years.

b) Most Local Authorities will have most items marked as OFFICIAL which does not help when trying to ensure information is secure.

The DataCube is able to assist in these areas. We can automatically build a data inventory of all your organisation's data, including details such as file path, existing labelling (if any) and various metadata properties, such as file size, owner, last modified etc. This inventory is linked to our data management system, which is build around the Local Government Classification Schema to identify the document category and the attributes it should have when compared to the LGCS defaults or exceptions. We can then automate the labelling process, whether your organisation has an existing system or  you simply need to migrate to the new UKGPMS scheme.

However, we are also able to provide meaningful classifications by using additional properties which can reflect the organisation's data protection and information security policies. By analysing the content and metadata  and by comparing it to exemplar documents held in the DataCube's data management system for the LGCS, we can provide more information and analysis over the sensitivity of the data and how it should be handled. As part of our Data Protection services and Data Loss Prevention system, we are able to work with the data inventory to ensure that data is not used inappropriately, which surely is the original purpose of a Protective Marking system.

..and with the DataCube, we can achieve this in weeks, not years !

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