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What is sensitive data discovery?

Sensitive data discovery refers to the process of identifying and locating sensitive information within an organization’s network. This information could include financial data, personal information, intellectual property, and confidential business information. The goal of discovering sensitive data is to secure sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access to it.


GDPR and sensitive data discovery

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It came into effect on May 25, 2018. Under the GDPR, companies are required to take appropriate measures to protect sensitive personal data. This includes, among other things, the implementation of technical and organizational measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive personal data. It is important for businesses to understand their obligations under the GDPR. Failure to do so may result in fines and damage to the company’s reputation.

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How to find your sensitive data

There are generally two different methods of finding one’s sensitive data; manual data localization or the use of a tool.

Manual data localization involves reviewing and scanning through the data stored within an organization’s network to identify sensitive information. This method is time-consuming and prone to human error, but it can be useful for small organizations with limited data sets.

Sensitive data discovery tools automate the process of discovering sensitive data. These tools use advanced algorithms to scan and identify sensitive information within an organization’s network. This method is more efficient and effective than manual data discovery and is suitable for large organizations with complex data sets. Sensitive data discovery services are provided by third-party companies that specialize in sensitive data discovery. These companies offer a range of services, including data discovery audits, data discovery assessments, and data discovery software. Data discovery services are ideal for organizations that lack the expertise or resources to look for sensitive data themselves.


What a sensitive data discovery tool can do for you

A sensitive data discovery tool is designed to help organizations identify and classify sensitive data within their systems, including data stored on servers, cloud storage, and end-user devices. Some of the key benefits of using a tool for finding your sensitive data tool include:

  1. Data Classification: The tool helps to identify sensitive data and classify it based on the level of sensitivity and risk associated with it. This makes it easier to determine which data needs to be protected and how it should be protected.
  2. Compliance: The tool helps organizations to comply with various regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS, by identifying sensitive data that needs to be protected.
  3. Data Loss Prevention: The tool helps to prevent sensitive data from being accidentally leaked or intentionally stolen by detecting data that is being moved outside the organization’s network, and taking appropriate action.
  4. Data Management: The tool provides a centralized view of sensitive data, making it easier for organizations to manage, monitor, and control access to sensitive information.
  5. Threat Detection: The tool can help organizations detect potential threats to sensitive data by monitoring for suspicious activity and alerting security teams when necessary.

Overall, a tool for discovering sensitive data can provide organizations with a comprehensive solution to manage sensitive data, ensuring that it is protected, and helping organizations to comply with regulations and prevent data breaches.


How to get started

At Safe Online we specialise in sensitive data discovery. Our most popular tool for processing sensitive personal data is DataMapper. This tool is a service that first and foremost a build for locating sensitive data across a company’s local or cloud-based data storages. DataMapper is developed especially for SMBs.

Learn more about DataMapper

Sebastian Allerelli

Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
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