For the purpose of setting in place the appropriate means of securing data, and to secure this process, I'm asking me the questions:

  • What are the tools to associate to a document a categorization label (for example: TOP SECRET)?
  • Does a tool which prohibit label removal exists?

For example, one method some may imagine to adopt could consist in:

  • for text documents place in the header and footer of every page a centered red box containing in upper case letter the text: TOP SECRET,
  • crypt this file with a high grade uniq password and a strong method;
  • write down this uniq password on a paper labelled TOP SECRET and put it in a safe,
  • move the crypted file on a safely erased USB key wearing a TOP SECRET red label,
  • safely erase all the disks of the OS where the original Microsoft Word document was and consequently any visible or hidden temporary file,
  • only open this file on a safe OS (Windows less, Internet less) within a safe office (tempest and light proof).

But this piece of policy, how heavy and expensive might it be, won't prohibit the voluntary or accidental removal of the label.


There's no single tool or technology that will do all of that for you, much of that will come from defining policies, and from them create procedures and standards for people to follow. You need to understand what information you are trying to protect and from that figure how many documents you need to secure in that way. That will also tell you how much security you need so you can make sensible choices on strategy, policy, and technology. That will tell you whether you really need specialized tools or not.

You also need to understand your budget limitations, tempest proofing a room is not a cheap undertaking and neither are WORM storage units. Security conscious small businesses can probably get by by simply labelling document classifications in the file name and then making sure they put them into the right places. PGP can be used for secure email transfers, but for intra company emails encrypted hard drives and using TLS on mail connections will do the same thing.

You can throw governance, policy, user training, and loads of money at document classification and storage. It's best to make sure you know what you need before talking about technology.

  • Thanks to your answer, I made more clear in my original question that the example given is a piece of policy and moreover won't waranty the label and document binding I'm looking for.
    – dan
    Nov 16 '13 at 13:47

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