Discovering data occurrence

Cover from Discovering data occurrence

Date: 30th November, 2016
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Format: White Paper

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It is important when protecting sensitive information to know what data needs to be protected. This applies both to data that needs to be anonymised, pseudonymised or redacted for regulatory reasons but also to data that is company confidential. The problem is that finding all of this data, prior to masking the data or taking other protective measures, is not as easy or as comprehensive as it is sometimes made to sound. Data profiling, for example, is not as exhaustive in discovering sensitive data as the suppliers of such software often claim.

In this paper, we examine how to find occurrences of sensitive data and we consider the different techniques that are currently available, as well new methods that are starting to emerge. In particular, we argue that data profiling, on its own, is not usually sufficient for this task.

Readers' reviews

There have been 2 reviews:

  1. Alex McMorland said on :

    "Hi Philip, it appears a toolset of (roughly) complementary technologies is required. Do you think these tools are available today or are there large gaps needing filled? Regards, Alex"

  2. Philip Howard replied on :

    "Hey Alex, long time no speak. I hope things are going well. I agree that some complementary capabilities are required. Data Profiling is an obvious starter but tools to introspect stored procedures and code are much rarer though they do exist. For example, Mentis can introspect stored procedures as a part of its data masking solution. Global IDs is another company taking this whole issue very seriously.BestPhilip"

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