Find people’s sensitive data in your databases – automatically!

Processing sensitive data is one of the biggest risks under the GDPR. Especially if you don’t know where your business is storing it. Here we explain how you find sensitive data across your systems and databases.

Identifying and protecting people’s sensitive data is a critical task in any organization.

What do you have? Where is it stored?

Keeping track of the personal and sensitive data you store in your databases helps you:

  • Adhere to internal security policies.
  • Comply with the GDPR.
  • Avoid unwanted fines or breaches.
  • Build trust with your employees, users and clients.

What is sensitive personal information?

It may be difficult to tell if a piece of personal data is sensitive or not.

It always depends on:

  • The situation.
  • If other types of personal data can be linked to the data.

Here’s an example:

Meet Joe. He works as an accountant in a large consulting business.

His name (Joe) is found in a document. With no other personal data. His name is not necessarily considered sensitive, especially if there is no context or other data.

However, should his email or social security appear in the same document, it can quickly be used to find who “Joe” is. Then it will be categorized as sensitive personal information.

If someone has a reasonably unique name, unlike Joe, but say “Tommy Joe”, then it would be considered sensitive data as anyone would easily recognize that we’re talking about Tommy Joe from accounting.

But you may have a big company with loads of folders and files filled with sensitive personal data. Or maybe you’re an SME that doesn’t have time to go through endless documents to find sensitive data in order to comply with the GDPR.

How do you find sensitive personal information in your databases?

This is how you find sensitive personal data in my databases?

You could go through every single document yourself. Yes. That is a possibility.

Classify every piece of data as either personal or sensitive.

It would take you months and months.

You may have a large database with hundreds or thousands of tables, and even more columns. And what if you have more than one database?

Where do you even begin?

Very quickly it becomes an overwhelming, time-consuming and difficult, if not impossible task, to identify every single piece of sensitive data in your databases.

But what if I told you there was an easier way? What if I told you that you can let the computer do all the hard work?

What is automatic sensitive data discovery?

Lucky for you, you can automate that work. Use a Sensitive Data Discovery Solution (SDD) to analyze your data and automatically identify and classify sensitive data in your systems.

You don’t have to look through a single file. The machine does it all. Locates, identifies and classifies the data and then displays it for you.

Sensitive personal data can be anything from social security numbers, names, contact information, health information to unique ID numbers and location data. Basically, any type of data that can be used to identify a person.

The computer finds the data.

But what do you get from automating sensitive data discovery?

3 benefits of automating sensitive data discovery

Sensitive Data Discovery can also be used for other use cases than complying with GDPR.

For instance, data can be considered sensitive in situations other than in relation to the GDPR, such as data security and efficiency.

And here it becomes a bit technical.

It may be easy to query your databases and retrieve some information regarding the data that your company stores.

However, it can be very difficult to query data patterns or data you do not know (where) you store.

When you introduce a Sensitive Data Discovery Solution (SDD) into your tech stack, it will automatically:

  • Find and identify sensitive data across your databases.
  • Provide you with an easy-to-read overview of sensitive data and its location.
  • Improve your understanding of data patterns and the sensitive data you store.

Using a Sensitive Data Discovery Solution would help you identify critical and valuable business data that would pose a risk or threat if hacked.

It is important to identify that data and ensure you store it securely. That’s how you avoid breaches which often lead to heavy GDPR fines.

What Sensitive Data Discovery Solution should I choose?

Most Sensitive Data Discovery Solutions are extremely technical and hard-to-use. Identification is highly customizable, but difficult to get an easy overview.

This is not always an advantage.

Data Discovery by Cookie Information is a new type of Sensitive Data Discovery.

It operates entirely in the cloud and is designed for users of all technical levels.

This means you can work with it in a very technical way, but also let non-tech co-workers read the data.

It is easy to get started. All you have to do is to connect your databases – with just a few clicks. Then Data Discovery scans your databases using advanced AI, to identify sensitive personal information.

All pieces found will be displayed in one central overview.

Data Discovery and the GDPR - what is personal data?

The solution has been developed and trained on millions and millions of data sets and therefore there is no need for you to classify data, columns or tables manually – the solution will simply do that for you.

With Data Discovery by Cooke Information, you will automatically get notified if new sensitive personal data occurs in your systems. With your consent, the solution can even mitigate the risk for you.

Sit back and know that when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you’ll be compliant.

Have a look at it yourself.

Get Data Discovery

And never look for a single file manually again. Your company’s personal data will be found, categorized and displayed in one single platform so you can act on risks and violations.  


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