6 Top-Rated Data Classification Software Tools for 2024

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The best data classification software for enterprise use offers a wide range of features to help you categorize and organize data based on sensitivity, importance, or regulatory requirements to maintain data security, comply with industry regulations, and efficiently handle data throughout its lifecycle.

By applying labels or tags to data to indicate its level of confidentiality or compliance needs, data classification tools can help you manage business information, ultimately minimizing risks and ensuring responsible data management practices.

We evaluated the most popular enterprise data classification tools to see how they compared on core features, price, ease of use, integrations with other systems, and vendor customer support. Here are our recommendations for the best data classification software tools of 2024:

Best Data Classification Software Comparison

The comparison table below provides an overview of the core features of our six top data classification software solutions. It offers insights into how each vendor performs data classification, protects information, manages data retention, and the duration of their free trials.

Data Classification Data Protection Data Retention Capabilities Free trial duration
ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus Manual and automated Advanced role-based access control (RBAC) and advanced encryption Advanced 30 days
Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud Manual and automated Advanced RBAC and basic encryption Advanced 20 days
Netwrix Data Classification Manual and automated Basic access control and encryption Advanced 20 days
Varonis Data Classification Engine Manual and automated Basic access control and encryption Comprehensive 30 days
Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog Manual and automated Advanced RBAC and advanced encryption Advanced 30 days
Safetica Data Discovery and Data Classification Manual and automated Advanced RBAC and basic encryption Advanced 10 days

ManageEngine icon.

ManageEngine Data Security Plus

Best for Overall Data Classification Software

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

  • Cost: 5/5
  • Core Features: 4.7/5
  • Integrations: 2.9/5
  • Customer Support: 5/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus interface.
ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus interface.

ManageEngine Data Security Plus provides data visibility, classification, and security in one solution. It’s our top data classification software pick because of its extensive features—not just for classifying data, but for overall data management.

Data Security Plus systematically assigns labels or tags to data based on sensitivity and vulnerability for accurate classification, allowing you to safeguard critical data with the right level of security. The software uses automated and manual methods for data classification—the automated approach involves content-based and context-based techniques to identify and classify data, while the context-based technique considers file metadata, such as application, location, and creator, for automatic tagging.

Another standout feature of DataSecurity Plus is its solid capability for managing data in the cloud. It offers cloud protection features for monitoring web traffic, implementing control measures on cloud application usage, and generating comprehensive reports on upload requests across various web services.

Product Design

ManageEngine Data Security Plus has a clean interface with collapsible sidebar and organized menus, making it easily understandable. It features a dashboard that presents a snapshot of all file accesses and modifications, so you can keep an eye on file integrity and spot potential security threats promptly.

Product Development

ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus recently added new features to help your business become more adept at data-centric security. These features include NetApp Common Internet File System (CIFS) server auditing, which keeps track of who is accessing what files on a network, augmenting security and accountability, and all-round file activity monitoring.

Why We Picked ManageEngine Data Security Plus

Aside from its broad set of features and user-friendly design, we chose DataSecurity Plus because it can efficiently handle multiple data classification types. This capability makes it a versatile tool that can adapt to various IT environments while averting data breaches. In addition, it offers a variety of customer support options, and is the only data classification software on our list to display clear pricing details.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Reduces the load on the CPU by scanning only new and modified files Limited integration options
Detects sudden anomalies in data transfers and file access patterns Basic risk assessment capabilities
Executes tailored scripts that can disconnect rogue users’ sessions and shut down corrupted machines
Clear pricing details

Pricing

ManageEngine includes data classification in three DataSecurity Plus plans.

  • DataSecurity Plus Professional Edition—Data Leak Prevention: Starts at $345
  • DataSecurity Plus Professional Edition—Data Risk Assessment: Starts at $395
  • DataSecurity Plus Professional Edition—FileAnalysis: Starts at $95

Features

  • File/folder access auditing and monitoring
  • Disk usage, permission, and file analysis
  • Data leak prevention
  • USB monitoring
  • Compliance auditing
  • Automated incident response and ransomware response
  • Application control
  • Email attachment scanning
  • Endpoint security monitoring
  • Inappropriate web content blocking and web content filtering
  • Deep packet inspection

Collibra icon.

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud

Best for Comprehensive Data Insights

Overall Rating: 3.2/5

  • Cost: 1.7/5
  • Core Features: 4.7/5
  • Integrations: 2.5/5
  • Customer Support: 2.5/5
  • Ease of Use: 3.8/5
Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud interface.
Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud interface.

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud features the unique self-learning Automatic Data Classification tool, which predicts the content of registered data sources by analyzing a subset of the data and suggesting data classes for individual columns. The Automatic Data Classification tool proposes data classes of selected columns and sends them back to the Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud, where users can confirm or reject the recommendations. User feedback refines the platform and future classifications.

In addition, the Data X-Ray tool automates discovery and classification of unstructured data and ingests metadata at scale to help you uncover unstructured data across all sources continuously, delivering in-depth insights. Together, these features equip your organization to glean meaningful data insights, maintain data quality, and establish good data governance practices for an informed data landscape.

Product Design

Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud has a detailed user interface (UI) that shows different statistics on almost every part of the page. It has tabs, a sidebar with several elements, charts and graphs, and panels at the bottom—while the interface is undeniably informative, it can be overwhelming for some users.

Product Development

Collibra has announced the general availability of Data Quality Pushdown for Snowflake and the public beta of Data Quality Pushdown for Databricks. These advancements boost efficiency and reduce costs associated with data quality in the cloud. Collibra maintains its emphasis on bringing customized experiences for enhanced workflow, lineage, and data marketplace capabilities.

Why We Picked Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud

We selected Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud because it reinforces data governance capabilities by bringing data clarity through metadata repositories, business glossary, data lineage, and impact analysis. This clarity is imperative for data integrity and informed decision-making.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Highly customizable Auto classification feature not available for cloud self-hosted and government accounts
Built-in pattern recognition and self-learning Lacks pricing transparency
Uses feedback to retrain the platform and improve future data classifications Brief trial duration of 20 days

Pricing

Collibra doesn’t publish pricing information on its page; contact the vendor for detailed pricing.

Features

Netwrix icon.

Netwrix Data Classification

Best for Managing Large Volumes of Data

Overall Rating: 3.6/5

  • Cost: 1.7/5
  • Core Features: 4.6/5
  • Integrations: 3.5/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 3.8/5
Netwrix Data Classification interface.
Netwrix Data Classification interface.

Netwrix Data Classification delivers a range of features related to data classification and big data security, including high-fidelity data classification, automated risk remediation, and accurate data tagging. These capabilities let you locate and classify sensitive data with precision for easy retrieval and management. The software also automatically reduces vulnerabilities related to unsecured data.

The sheer volume of data that large enterprises handle can make it challenging to detect and manage sensitive information. Netwrix Data Classification addresses this by arranging your data into a logical order, cleaning up unneeded data, and ensuring sensitive information is kept only in properly secured locations with risk-appropriate access controls.

Product Design

Netwrix has a straightforward interface with a few tabs, a sidebar, and graphs that give an overview of your data. This simplicity makes it easier to understand what’s happening at a glance. The collapsible sidebar adds to the neatness of the design.

Product Development

Netwrix continues to upgrade its cybersecurity offerings and recently released eight products to amplify data security both on premises and in the cloud. This shows the vendor’s serious dedication to bolstering data protection for their users.

Why We Picked Netwrix Data Classification

We picked Netwrix Data Classification because of its reliable data classification and security capabilities, user-friendly interface, and suitability for large enterprises dealing with vast amounts of data. Together, these features make it an important asset for large businesses facing challenges with big data management.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Uses advanced RegEx, compound term processing, and statistical analysis techniques for more accurate data classification Reporting can be cumbersome for some users
Automated risk remediation Brief free trial duration of 20 days
Cleans up redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) data, reducing the attack surface and saving storage space Lacks pricing transparency

Pricing

Netwrix doesn’t display pricing information on its website; request a quote for more details.

Features

  • High-fidelity data classification
  • ROT data detection and redundant data cleanup
  • AI/Machine learning and statistical analysis
  • Ad hoc reporting
  • Compliance management
  • Configurable workflow
  • Structured and unstructured data support
  • On-premise and cloud data repository support
  • Advanced RegEx and compound term processing
  • Data security

Varonis icon.

Varonis Data Classification Engine

Best for Handling Sensitive Data

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

  • Cost: 2.5/5
  • Core Features: 4.8/5
  • Integrations: 5/5
  • Customer Support: 3.8/5
  • Ease of Use: 1.3/5
Varonis Data Security Platform interface.
Varonis Data Security Platform interface.

Varonis Data Classification Engine, part of the Varonis Data Security Platform suite, combines data classification and data security. It excels in discovering sensitive data, visualizing risks, automating classification, and seamlessly integrating with numerous third-party tools.

The engine’s strength lies in its ability to handle private information. It can classify a wide array of sensitive data types including personally identifiable information (PII), payment card information (PCI), and protected health information (PHI). It aids organizations in dealing with large volumes of confidential information appropriately while giving insights into user access and permissions of critical resources.

Product Design

The uncluttered, user-centric design of the Varonis Data Security Platform features a sidebar with several dashboards you can choose from. Every dashboard shows different types of data grouped together, such as alerts, file servers, and directory services. The UI is full of valuable information logically arranged for easy understanding.

Product Development

Varonis has expanded its cloud-native platform to include Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) for Snowflake, making it a more comprehensive data security solution that can support a wider selection of data storage platforms. This expansion means customers using Snowflake to store and manage data can now make use of Varonis’ DSPM to understand their data security posture, detect risks, and take action to strengthen security.

Why We Picked Varonis Data Classification Engine

Varonis Data Classification Engine made our list for its accuracy, scalability, and extensive coverage. It delivers precise classification results across huge volumes of unstructured data and covers a wide range of data types and locations. Additionally, it supports a wide variety of third-party integrations. These features—along with its automatic policy updates—make it a powerful tool for organizations prioritizing data security and governance.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Comprehensive metadata management Resource intensive
Supports the discovery and classification of different sensitive data types, such as PII, PCI, and  PHI Complex setup
The Universal Database Connector simplifies the data classification process and reinforces the security of data across various databases Lacks pricing transparency

Pricing

Varonis doesn’t disclose the pricing for products; get in touch with their sales team and request a price quote for details.

Features

  • Sensitive data discovery
  • True incremental scanning
  • Risk visualization
  • Automatic policy updates
  • Granular record counts
  • Robust file type support
  • Pre-defined reports
  • Universal classification support for databases
  • Customizable rules
  • Comprehensive DSPM coverage
  • High-fidelity results

Informatica icon.

Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog

Best for Data-Driven Decision Making

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

  • Cost: 2.5/5
  • Core Features: 4.8/5
  • Integrations: 5/5
  • Customer Support: 3.8/5
  • Ease of Use: 1.3/5
Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog interface.
Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog interface.

Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog’s data classification feature leverages AI to automatically classify and identify domains and entities across all structured and unstructured data assets. This feature is part of a broader suite of capabilities that includes data lineage, data profiling, and data quality scorecards, among others.

Informatica’s data classification specializes in facilitating data-driven decision-making with its automated tools. It discovers and organizes data from multiple sources, comprehends the context of the data through domain and entity recognition, and even recommends additional relevant data. This integrated approach streamlines decision-making based on data, as all necessary information is readily available and intelligible.

Product Design

Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog’s UI comes with a variety of dashboards with graphs and charts, detailed data lineage, and profiling statistics. It also has a search bar that allows you to locate specific data. While this abundance of data and options might be useful for technical users, it can become confusing for beginners.

Product Development

Informatica has announced enhanced integrations with Databricks and Unity Catalog, making it much easier for users to bring in data from many sources, transform it without needing to code, and use it for AI and analytics workloads. These integrations also help manage data storage cost-effectively, and could be a game-changer for businesses looking to get the most out of their data.

Why We Picked Informatica

We picked Informatica because of its AI-driven capabilities that enable efficient data discovery, classification, risk scoring, and automated protection. This solution also offers flexible data classification options, including data element classification and data entity classification. What’s more, it promotes transparency by mapping sensitive data to data subjects and tracking exposure.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
AI-powered catalog Resource intensive
Data asset analytics Unclear pricing details
Data similarity recommendations Steep learning curve

Pricing

Other than stating that it follows consumption-based pricing, Informatica doesn’t publish clear pricing details; contact sales for additional information.

Features

  • Enterprise-scale AI-powered catalog and semantic search
  • Metadata system of record and granular metadata extraction
  • Data quality scorecards
  • Data asset enrichment and intelligent curation
  • Business glossary association
  • Data asset analytics and data intelligence sharing
  • Contextual insights
  • Data similarity
  • Column-level lineage tracking
  • Data stewardship

Safetica icon.

Safetica Data Discovery and Data Classification

Best for Intellectual Property Protection

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

  • Cost: 0.9/5
  • Core Features: 4.7/5
  • Integrations: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 2.5/5
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
Safetica Data Discovery and Classification interface.
Safetica Data Discovery and Classification interface.

Safetica Data Discovery and Classification equips organizations with tools to identify, categorize, and safeguard sensitive data across their networks. It has sophisticated search capabilities to find sensitive data in various formats, including documents, databases, and emails. Its main features encompass data discovery, data in motion, unified data classification, content inspection, context-aware approach, and classification based on file properties.

Safetica’s advanced capability to search and classify data based on content inspection, context, and file properties makes it effortless to pinpoint sensitive information such as intellectual property and apply the necessary protection measures.

Its multiplatform content inspection with optical character recognition (OCR) allows for sensitive data detection in scanned PDF documents and image files. For example, an engineering firm might need to safeguard drawings that cannot be defined by their text content. With Safetica, they can classify all files stored on a shared network drive where these drawings are kept.

Product Design

Safetica has an intuitive user interface that displays a complete overview of your enterprise data without being overwhelming. It has panels that nicely group charts, graphs, and lists together, further simplifying the design. Additionally, the collapsible menus in the sidebar let you hide unnecessary lists or details, so you can focus on specific information.

Product Development

Safetica has updated its software to manage the use of over 200 Generative AI (GenAI) tools. As a result, organizations can now proactively block access to these tools and gain insights into their usage. This update bolsters data security and promotes responsible AI tool usage in the workplace.

Why We Picked Safetica Data Discovery and Classification

Despite its brief free trial duration and unclear pricing information, we selected Safetica because of strong data protection capabilities, user-friendliness, and seamless integration with numerous third-party tools. In addition, it has a rapid deployment process, reducing the time and effort required for installation and configuration of the tool. These factors make Safetica a reliable choice for data discovery and classification.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Rapid deployment Doesn’t support Linux
Automated risk detection Lacks pricing transparency
Multiplatform content inspection with optical character recognition (OCR) for sensitive data detection in scanned PDF documents and image files Brief free trial duration of 10 days

Pricing

Safetica doesn’t share pricing information; contact the vendor for pricing details.

Features

  • Data in motion
  • Unified data classification and content inspection
  • Context-aware approach
  • Data-flow security audit
  • Office 365 file and email audit
  • Regulatory compliance and workspace security audit
  • Suspicious activity detection
  • Endpoint data and remote work protection
  • Devices and print protection
  • Incident shadow copy
  • BitLocker encryption management

5 Key Features of Data Classification Tools

Data classification tools enable organizations to organize, secure, and manage their ever-growing volumes of data based on several attributes so they can implement consistent security measures, comply with regulations, and streamline their data management processes. But a reliable data classification tool must have some key features for it to work effectively. By understanding these features, you can enhance data governance strategies, reduce risks, and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information across your company.

Automated Classification

Automated data classification uses rules and machine learning algorithms to categorize large data volumes efficiently and reduce manual effort and errors in data organization. However, combining manual and automated classification methods is essential in a data classification tool. Manual intervention provides a human layer of understanding and context, especially for complex or ambiguous data, which increases accuracy and allows organizations to leverage the strengths of both automated efficiency and human insight for effective data management and security.

Policy-Based Classification

The policy-based classification feature applies predefined rules and guidelines to categorize and label data according to established organizational policies and compliance standards. This capability is necessary for maintaining consistency in data handling, making sure that sensitive information is treated in accordance with regulatory requirements and internal security protocols. It reduces the risk of non-compliance and unauthorized access and boosts security and compliance in your data environment.

Content Discovery

Content discovery refers to the process of locating varied types of data within your organization’s digital environment. This includes documents, files, databases, and other information stored across different platforms. Content discovery is a critical component of data classification software because it enables the error-free categorization of data based on its sensitivity, importance, or relevance.

By discovering and understanding the content within a system, data classification tools can apply appropriate labels, access controls, and encryption measures to safeguard sensitive information. This supports informed decision-making and mitigating potential risks associated with data mishandling or unauthorized access.

Data Protection

Incorporating data protection features within a data classification tool is essential for securing sensitive information. If data classification involves categorizing and organizing data based on its sensitivity or importance, data protection ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the classified data by shielding it from unauthorized access, potential loss, or corruption through encryption and access controls. Data protection features within a data classification software helps you maintain compliance with privacy regulations and offers proactive defense against security threats.

Metadata Management

Metadata management is another vital feature that streamlines the process of organizing and retrieving information. Metadata serves as contextual information about data, with details like creation date, author, and file type. It elevates data governance by providing clear insights into the content and context of information, aiding in compliance efforts and regulatory requirements. It plays a fundamental role in optimizing data management and increasing data classification accuracy.

How We Evaluated Data Classification Software Tools

In order to find the top data classification software, we conducted an in-depth analysis of multiple data classification tools available today.

Our assessment focused on five major criteria: cost, core features, integrations, customer support, and ease of use. We methodically evaluated each data classification software’s performance against these factors, assigned scores, and then computed the total ratings.

Cost | 20 percent

To calculate the scores for this criteria, we considered factors as pricing transparency as well as the duration of the free trial of each vendor.

Criteria Winner: ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus

Core Features | 30 percent

For the core features, we verified if the data classification tools have manual and automated data classification, policy-based classification with customizable rules, and advanced content discovery across various data sources. We also checked if each software comes with granular policy configuration, versioning, and automated lifecycle management as part of its data retention feature.In addition, we researched the comprehensiveness of their metadata management and risk assessment capabilities. Lastly we investigated the level of the data protection the data classification software tools offer.

Criteria Winner: Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog

Integrations | 20 percent

To measure the scores for this criteria, we checked if the data classification tools offer out-of-the-box integrations with relevant third-party solutions, like DLP software, data governance and compliance tools, SIEM systems, IAM software, and cloud security platforms. We also considered if the tools support custom integrations.

Criteria Winner: Varonis Data Classification Engine

Customer support | 15 percent

We researched the variety of customer support options offered to all users to calculate scores for customer support. The availability of 24×7 support to all customers regardless of payment tier, as well as the support response times are also taken into consideration.

Criteria Winner: ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus

Ease of Use | 15 percent

To determine the scores for this category, we considered user feedback across numerous independent review sources. We factored in the ease and speed of implementation and the user-friendliness of the software to users of all skill levels.

Criteria Winner: ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus and Safetica Data Discovery and Data Classification

Bottom Line: The Best Data Classification Tools for 2024

These top data classification software recommendations aim to guide you on the most trusted data classification tools in the industry today and should give you an insight into the features you should look for in a data classification software. Consider the type and volume of data you’re handling, your budget, and the level of data protection you require in selecting a data classification software for your business. No data classification software is perfect, but there are many good options—choose the data classification tool that works best for your business.

Selecting the right data classification tool is the first step toward effective data management, but the journey doesn’t end here. To truly master data management, read our in-depth guide on data management best practices and transform the way you handle and protect your data.

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