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Help for the most time-consuming tasks

If you are a UK or EU company, you know you need to comply with GDPR. Even if you’ve already taken steps to become compliant, you may wonder if there’s anything that could make it easier. Let’s talk about GDPR scanners. Basically, a GDPR scanner is a tool or software application designed to help organizations comply with GDPR. But why do you need one and what are your options? In this article, we’ll talk about different functions of GDPR scanners and how they can help your business comply with GDPR.

What is a GDPR scanner?

Although there is no one scan that can tell you definitively if your company is GDPR compliant, GDPR scanners can help you see where you are in terms of compliance and make your toughest GDPR tasks much faster and easier. They can also spot areas where your data protection is not as strong as it should be.

Here are some different functions of GDPR scanners:

Data discovery
Scan your organization’s databases, file systems, and other data repositories to locate personal data. Keeping a record of the personal data you store is a GDPR requirement. Most companies struggle with tracking down personal data spread around in different locations, but a GDPR scanner can do it with just a couple of clicks.

Data classification
A GDPR scanner may categorise personal data by type, age, location, access and more. Then, it’s easy to evaluate whether different types of data are getting appropriate protection. It also lets you check if your access controls  and data retention policies are working.

Data mapping
Data mapping scanners can create a visual map or inventory of where personal data is stored within an organization’s systems. This helps organizations understand the flow of data and its associated risks.

Consent management
Some GDPR scanners can assist in managing and tracking user consents for data processing. They can, for example, help organizations ensure that they have obtained proper consent for data processing activities.

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)
Additionally, GDPR scanners may support the creation and management of DPIAs, which are assessments of the potential impact of data processing activities on individuals’ privacy rights.

Security and compliance checks
Often, these scanners include security and compliance checks to ensure that the data is adequately protected. They can identify vulnerabilities and recommend security measures to address them.

Reporting and documentation
GDPR scanners can generate reports and documentation of your compliance efforts. In the event that you are audited, this documentation helps you demonstrate compliance to regulatory authorities.

Data deletion and anonymisation
Generally speaking, a GDPR scanner will have the capability to facilitate data deletion and anonymization processes to comply with the “right to be forgotten” and data minimisation principles of GDPR.

Monitoring and alerting
Further, GDPR scanners provide ongoing monitoring and alerting mechanisms. These can, for instance, remind you to check on data, detect changes in your data storage, and/or respond to potential data breaches or violations of GDPR.

Of course, the best GDPR scanners combine several of the functions above. Overall, GDPR scanners save you valuable time by automating frustrating and time-consuming tasks associated with data management.

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With an analysis scan by DataMapper, you can have all Outlook accounts in your company scanned. You will receive key statistics on all (current and former) employees' emails - including information on which emails, employees and processes generate GDPR risk.

How can you benefit from a GDPR scanner?

Basically, using GDPR scanners can streamline your compliance efforts and reduce the risk of data breaches. GDPR scanners can comb through your systems and tell you what you need to know about your data and compliance with much greater speed and precision then you could ever ask an employee to do manually. Rather than waiting until a problem arises, use a scanner to regularly perform a quick “check-up” to get a better idea of how you are doing with data protection and what you need to improve.

Additionally, using GDPR scanning tools can help you demonstrate your commitment to data protection and privacy to your employees, customers and to data regulators. Further, even after a breach occurs, a GDPR scanner can reduce your liability by helping you investigate it, report it, and minimise the damage it does.

Build a strong compliance framework

Since the GDPR is such a comprehensive regulation, compliance takes a solid combination of tools and practices. For example, employees training, strong and transparent policies, and appropriate legal guidance. But because of their time saving potential, GDPR scanners can easily become the most valuable item in your compliance toolbox.

Want to know more about a GDPR scanner?

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

When you sign up for our newsletter you get a license for one user to ShareSimple, which will give you a secure email in Outlook. This special offer is for new customers only, with a limit of one freebie per company.

Start using a GDPR scanner today

Becoming GDPR compliant can be tricky. However, having the right tools can help. At Safe Online we have created DataMapper which is a GDPR scanner that finds, sorts, and classifies personal data. DataMapper’s powerful AI will quickly identify data that GDPR requires you to protect. Afterwards, it sorts it into a complete inventory that you can view by type, risk level, location, and more. Find sensitive information in:

  • Documents (txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, gdoc, odt, pptx, ppt, xls, xlsx, gsheet, html, htm)
  • Images (jpg, jpeg, png, heic)
  • Emails (msg, txt)

What’s more, you can set up DataMapper yourself and start scanning files within minutes.

Sebastian Allerelli

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