What is an Information Asset?

Technology - What is an Information Asset

Information assets are discrete collections of data that an entity recognizes as valuable. They are also sensitive, which could result in legal repercussions if accessed inappropriately.

They should be safeguarded to the level of confidentiality appropriate for their classification level. This may vary based on the information asset and its value.


An information asset is a collection of invaluable knowledge or data that an organization utilizes to facilitate business operations and reach specific objectives. These assets include documents, records, IT systems, and the people responsible for their creation, upkeep, and use.

Information management requires classification and lifecycle management of valuable assets. By classifying an information asset, you can decide the level of protection it requires to safeguard itself and those who access or use it. This helps identify risks and control costs.

Before classifying an information asset, you must first define its content. This can be done by identifying the data types contained or creating a model with all pertinent elements necessary for classification. Afterward, assign this data to terms in the catalog that describe its significance.

Defining information clearly so those responsible for managing and using it comprehend its specifics is essential for appropriately making informed decisions and managing risks. This knowledge is the key to successful project management and successful risk mitigation measures.

When classifying an information asset, the cost of applying controls to it and their value to the entity should be considered. Grouping many data assets together may enable a more efficient application of controls than if each asset were classified separately.

When applying controls, it’s important to weigh the potential risk. For instance, grouping all personnel files into one information asset could necessitate more robust confidentiality safeguards than if each file were individually classified and classified.

It is essential to make sure the classification of your information assets adheres to laws and regulations such as the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Legislation. Ideally, classification should be decided upon by individuals in managerial positions who oversee the day-to-day management of the data.

To effectively classify information assets, they must be able to answer the questions on the Information Asset Classification Worksheet (Appendix A). If not, it may be best to recruit and work with subject matter experts who possess expert knowledge about your data assets.

When creating or amending an existing information asset inventory, all assets must have a consistent name and description. Doing this will create a unified system of records, enabling you to address business needs and maximize operational efficiency.

Additionally, the title of the person responsible for an asset should be clearly identified to facilitate tracking and monitoring. You may opt to use job titles instead of names when listing those responsible for reducing the number of names required in your inventory.


An information asset is any piece of data with business value for an organization. This could include documents, data, software programs, or any other digital data with financial worth to the business, leading to increased revenues, reduced expenses, or enhanced competitive position in the marketplace.

Information assets are distinct units that enable their owner to classify and monitor their usage and security. Typically, information assets are classified and labeled according to the sensitivity and confidentiality of the data.

Factors such as legal or regulatory requirements, the value it brings to an organization, and potential losses or compromises can all influence how important and secure an information asset is. Therefore, it’s essential to identify and safeguard these assets so that their value remains uncompromised.

The information must be properly classified and labeled to guarantee its secure handling in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies that guide its use. This must be done to guarantee this is done accurately.

Labeling information assets appropriately is essential so that everyone in the organization understands which data is sensitive and what steps should be taken to safeguard against compromise or theft. Doing this makes responding quickly to a breach much simpler for the business and helps minimize the financial damage caused by it.

Classifying an information asset is critical in the security lifecycle, as it outlines the controls necessary to protect it from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, and modification. Classification should be done together with creating an appropriate risk inventory to do this effectively.

When creating a risk inventory, it is wise to assess the scope of your information assets and create an inventory of systems, applications, code, and other items that could compromise confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility within your company. After this has been determined, you can create an inventory of risks applicable to these assets, enabling you to assess how effectively your security policies and procedures are working.

For instance, if your application handles payments to vendors or customers, then any information generated should be classified as confidential, and the controls applied should be tailored appropriately for this level of data protection.

These same principles can also be applied to other information assets that may not be as sensitive or important yet still have significant financial or business value to the company. For instance, employee office schedules that are only used by human resources personnel would likely not be classified as critical; nevertheless, they should still be safeguarded in case of loss or leak.


Information assets are a collection of information and data that value an organization. These may include program source code, research documents, strategic slide decks, databases, and more.

Organizations depend on data to achieve their goals and provide value to customers. Effective management and protection of these information assets are paramount for organizations in today’s fast-paced global environment.

One way to identify information assets in a business is by looking at how they are utilized and stored. This could include computer file shares, shared email mailboxes, and paper records.

Considering how information is utilized within other departments and by external stakeholders is also beneficial. For instance, a business may have a CRM system that helps it stay in touch with current and prospective customers.

Maintaining an inventory of all information a business holds is essential for understanding its value and protecting its information assets. Doing this helps managers decide if additional security measures or training should be undertaken and provide insight into potential vulnerabilities.

Establishing an Information Asset Register (IAR) is one way to achieve this. An IAR is a list of all information assets within your institution, including their confidentiality classification, integrity, availability, and any laws or regulations pertaining to them.

An IAR should identify the owner of an information asset. Typically, this individual has operational or managerial responsibility for managing and safeguarding the asset. They could be a business stakeholder who understands its purpose and how it supports their organization’s overall mission.

Once an IAR has been created, the information security team should collaborate with relevant business stakeholders to identify which information assets are of the most value to their organization. They also need to compile a list of those individuals responsible for managing and protecting those assets.

Sometimes, individuals may be responsible for all information assets within a particular department or business area. This can be highly beneficial to the business since it reduces the number of people required to manage these assets.

Asset owners should be allowed to explain how their departments plan to utilize and protect information assets and share any details regarding vulnerabilities or threats that may affect these resources.

Finally, they should provide details about how information assets are managed throughout their life cycle, such as creation, processing, storage, transmission, and destruction. Doing this allows the information security team to assess if additional security measures are needed for that asset.

Once all information assets have been identified, they should be classified and controlled to allow authorized users to access them with high levels of security. Doing this will improve the safety of these assets and enable easier identification if an incident affects one.

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