The Simple Guide to Sensitive Data Discovery

3/12/2021



 
With the majority of staff still working from home and sharing data back and forth, keeping track of 
sensitive data can be challenging.
 
 

Finding your organization’s data and understanding its value can seem like an insurmountable task, especially when you consider that data persists in various formats, multiple systems, and environments. Unaccounted for sensitive and personal data is a huge security risk and makes implementing access control and data protection solutions difficult.  
 

Sensitive Data Discovery helps system administrators and DevOps teams locate, classify, and isolate data, no matter where it is located. 
 
 

What is Sensitive Data Discovery? 

  
Sensitive Data Discovery is the process of discovering sensitive data elements in databases. 
 

This process is aided through the use of a sensitive data discovery tool that uses discovery and ranking algorithms to scan structured and unstructured data for sensitive elements, which it then classifies according to risk model. This data can then be removed or masked accordingly.  
 

What sensitive data discovery does, in effect, is give you an inside look at your business to identify privacy vulnerabilities so that you can take immediate remedial action.  
 

 

Where can sensitive data hide? 
 

  • Collaboration tools

  • Non-production environments

  • Databases

  • Remote devices

  • Network servers

  • Cloud storage tools 

  

Why do you need sensitive data discovery? 
 

There are countless benefits for utilizing sensitive data discovery that range from identifying security vulnerabilities and privacy gaps to risk management and breach prevention. (Read more on this topic here.) 
 

In the development environment, developers work with multiple copies of the production database for testing and deployment. However, these databases contain data that needs to be protected. Sensitive data discovery allows you to locate forgotten, duplicate, and unused data, which can then be flagged for deletion or maskingIt also automatically classifies the data it locates, making it easier to take remedial action. This is particularly useful if a member of the team creates a quick test environment, which then falls off everyone’s radar.  
 

Sensitive data discovery is also a major step for meeting the compliance requirements of data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)PCI DSS, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), for example, which require data protection methods to be employed to protect private data 

   

With access control and database management increasingly falling under the scope of DevOps, being able to locate all sensitive data is crucial. 
 

The HushHush Sensitive Data Discovery Tool works quickly and without disruption, allowing you to identify sensitive data risks fast, even in the largest databases. 
 

Request your free demo or trial today.  

   


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