Data Discovery and Why It Matters

These are exciting days at PKWARE.

On July 11, we launched Smartcrypt Data Discovery, one of our most significant product releases in recent history. With this enhancement, our already-unique Smartcrypt platform now lets customers take an entirely new approach to protecting their sensitive data.

Data discovery, when paired with Smartcrypt’s strong encryption and key management capabilities, takes the uncertainty and the extra work out of enterprise data protection. Encryption becomes easier to implement and manage, and discovery becomes a practical tool rather than a “so what?” reporting feature.

To understand why we think Smartcrypt Data Discovery is such a big deal, let’s take a quick look at the basic concept of data discovery and why it makes so much sense to integrate it with encryption.

What is Data Discovery?

Not to be confused with e-discovery (the process of finding electronic information for use in court cases), data discovery is the process of scanning files and folders to determine which ones contain sensitive information. Sensitive information can be any form of data—from personal health information to intellectual property to customer mailing lists—that an organization needs to protect from public view.

Discovery is a key element of data loss prevention (DLP) processes, which some organizations use to prevent the unauthorized transmission of sensitive data outside the company network. However, as companies move toward cloud computing and mobile workforces, discovery is taking on increased importance.

How Does Data Discovery Work?

The data discovery process begins with a definition of sensitive data. Organizations need to determine what they consider “sensitive” by evaluating their business needs and the methods they use to collect and manage data. A company’s definition should include any types of data that are covered by government or industry mandates, along with data that could harm the company’s reputation or finances if it were stolen or exposed.

After deciding on its definition of sensitive information, a company needs to decide where to look—user devices, network locations, outgoing email, or all of the above—and what to do with sensitive data once it’s been identified. That last step is where typical data discovery tools fall short. Most discovery products can report on the location of sensitive data, and some may provide the ability to delete data once it’s been identified, but that’s as far as they go.

The Smartcrypt Difference

Smartcrypt, on the other hand, gives organizations the ability to do what they actually need to do with sensitive data—protect it. Smartcrypt can encrypt sensitive information automatically—as soon as it appears on a user device or network location—without any involvement from the user.

Smartcrypt, on the other hand, gives organizations the ability to do what they actually need to do with sensitive data—protect it. Smartcrypt can encrypt sensitive information automatically—as soon as it appears on a user device or network location—without any involvement from the user.

With Smartcrypt, the same software agent that handles discovery also encrypts the data, so organizations no longer need to deal with multiple products for discovery and encryption. From the user’s perspective, everything happens behind the scenes, so sensitive data can be identified and protected without any changes to existing workflows.

Every day that your sensitive data sits unprotected on user devices or network servers is another day that you risk regulatory fines and catastrophic PR damage. If your organization is looking for a data protection solution that can secure the sensitive data you know about and the data you don’t know you have, learn more about Smartcrypt Data Discovery today.