Dropbox data classification

This feature is currently in beta and only available to some Dropbox Business customers.
With the data classification feature, team admins on Dropbox Business teams can discover, classify, and protect personal information stored in team folders, such as credit card, passport, bank account, and social security numbers.

Sections in this article:

Enable automatic data classification

Team admins can enable automatic scanning for personal information. 

To enable automatic scanning:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Classification in the left sidebar.
  4. Toggle Scan and label files in the background to On.
  5. Click Save.

Information types than can be detected

Automatic data classification is currently supported in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, and the UK.

To see a current list of personal information types Dropbox can detect:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Classification in the left sidebar.
  4. Browse by location under Info types.

Files types that can be scanned

In order to be scanned for personal information, files must be stored in team folders and not exceed 100 MB. The following file types can be scanned:

.doc
.docx
.docm
.ppt
.pptx
.pptm
.csv
.xls
.xlsx
.xlsm
.pdf
.rtf
.txt
.vtt
.gdoc
.gsheet
.gslides
.paper
.papert

Notes

  • Dropbox can’t currently scan the following for personal information:
    • Password-protected files
    • Files in team members’ folders that are private (not shared) or are directly shared (not inside a team folder)
    • Files over 100 MB
  • Every classification of personal information is added to the team activity log. 

Receive and view external sharing alerts

Admins will receive data loss prevention (DLP) alerts via email when files or folders containing sensitive information are shared outside their team. 

The email alert includes:

  • File name and location
  • Type and severity of the alert
  • Date and time the content was shared 
  • Type(s) of information detected in the shared content
  • Team member who shared the content
  • Recipients of the share

 

Admins can monitor alerts in their admin console and can block access to the affected content, if necessary. 

To access all DLP alerts:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Security in the left sidebar.
  4. Click Alerts in the left sidebar.

To remove access to externally shared content:

  1. Open the DLP alert in your email or admin console.
  2. Click Manage access in the top-right corner.
  3. Click the downward arrow next the the recipient’s name and select Remove.

Create a Classification report

Admins can create a Classification report, to see a list of files containing personal information. The report includes:

  • File name and type
  • File location
  • Type of information detected
  • External sharing status
  • Sharing method
  • Sharing originators
  • Sharing recipients
  • Sharing dates

To create a Classification report:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Classification in the left sidebar.
  4. Click Create report under Personal information

A CSV file will be generated. You’ll be notified by email when the report is ready to be viewed or downloaded from the “Dropbox Business reports” folder of your admin account.

Note: The report can’t be created until the initial scanning process is complete.

Accuracy of detection

The data classification feature makes predictions of personal information based on probabilities. These predictions can be subjective and may not be 100% accurate.

Team member files

If you’re a member of a Dropbox Business team with data classification enabled by an admin, Dropbox will scan your team's files for personal information. This process includes assigning certain attributes to files to help your admin better manage sensitive data in your team’s account. If your team disbands and you continue using Dropbox, files that were once part of your team’s account may retain attributes assigned during the data classification process.

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