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What is data mapping?

Data mapping creates an overview of your company’s data, and makes it possible to discover duplicate data, valuable documents, potential security problems, etc. By having an insight into your data, you enable yourself to act on the basis of data. In connection with GDPR, data mapping can also identify sensitive personal data as well as vulnerabilities in the way you handle sensitive data.

This blog is about what data mapping is and how you as a company can benefit from it.

Did you know that cyberattacks, which are often discovered through data mapping, constitute 52% of data breaches? (Ponemon Institute).

Why is data mapping interesting?

Data mapping is the process of organising, classifying, analysing and understanding the data – structured as well as unstructured – that your company stores across data systems. It shows you what information your company has, how data flows in the company, who has access to data and where it is stored.

Specifically, data mapping typically takes place by following a series of steps, including:

  1. Mapping: First you get an overview of your data in the data systems you use; local drives, shared drives, CRM system, mail, services, etc.
  2. Categorisation: The data is then categorised and organised by type, purpose and use.
  3. Data analysis: The data is then analysed to identify patterns, dependencies and correlations.
  4. Visualisation: The data is then visualised in the form of a diagram, map or other form of graphical representation, so that you can see how the data interact with each other.
  5. Optimisation: Finally, the results of the data mapping are evaluated with a view to optimising data handling.

Through this process, you can gain a better understanding of how data is used in your company.

How data mapping can help a company

Data mapping can help a business in several ways, including:

  • Support data security: Data mapping gives companies insight into where their data is most vulnerable, so they can strengthen security measures and protect themselves against data breaches and cyber attacks.
  • Support data management: By identifying outdated or unnecessary data, companies can streamline their data storage and processing.
  • Support decision-making: With a clear understanding of data flows and structures, companies can make better decisions based on accurate data, which can be used to improve everything from strategic planning to operations.
  • Support data analysis: A detailed mapping of data types and structures makes it easier to perform in-depth data analysis, which can reveal insights that can drive business growth.
  • Support compliance: By mapping where personal data is stored and used, companies can ensure that they comply with GDPR and other data legislation. This reduces the risk of fines and consequences in the event of a data breach.

Want to know more about data mapping?

In our newsletter you get tips and tricks for dealing with privacy management from our founder Sebastian Allerelli.

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Data mapping to avoid data breaches

Data mapping can help protect data by providing a detailed overview of the company’s data and how it is used. This makes it possible to identify vulnerable areas in a company’s data management, so that it is easier to protect personal data. You can generally say that data mapping can be used to protect data as follows:

  1. Identification: By visualising the organisation’s data, you can identify where personal information is stored and how it interacts with other data. This allows measures to be taken to protect them from potential threats.
  2. Access control: Data mapping makes it possible to see who has access to which data and to control access to personally sensitive information.
  3. Compliance: Data mapping helps ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR by showing how the organisation handles personal information.
  4. Vulnerabilities: Data mapping can help detect vulnerabilities in data handling before they are exploited by cybercriminals.

Data mapping and artificial intelligence

Data mapping tools that use artificial intelligence are one of the latest developments in data mapping technology. These tools use advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to automate and improve the process of data mapping.

With artificial intelligence, data mapping tools can enable companies to discover, map and monitor their data flows much more efficiently. This means that the tool can identify any vulnerabilities in the company’s data collection, processing and storage before they become a problem.

Another advantage of using artificial intelligence in data mapping is that the tool can learn and improve itself over time. This means that the tool can become better at identifying and protecting against vulnerabilities and cyber threats as the business grows and develops.

Start your GDPR cleanup where it is needed the most

Sensitive data can tends to accumulate in the employees' e-mails. With a GDPR Risk Scan from DataMapper, you get a report that shows any potential GDPR risks in the company's e-mails.

Get started with data mapping in your company

A company can use data mapping to manage and protect data. In addition, data mapping can be used to get an overview of your data with sensitive content in order to handle personal data properly and comply with the GDPR. Finally, data mapping can help companies to streamline data and strengthen their decision-making basis on the basis of data.

At Safe Online, we have developed a data mapping tool that uses artificial intelligence to locate personally sensitive information in files, emails and images. What used to take days, weeks or months can now be done in a fraction of the time. And at the same time, you avoid the risk of mistakes being made in the process.

Sebastian Allerelli
Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →

Contact me today


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