Steps to Discovery and Protection of Sensitive Data: Find IT. Search IT. Mask IT.
Enterprise applications are the repositories for a wide variety of sensitive data. HR systems can contain information about employees and their dependents such as salaries, taxpayer IDs, names and addresses, and medical histories. Sales automation applications contain customer information such as credit card numbers, card expiration dates, addresses and telephone numbers. Supply chain applications contain proprietary information such as pricing and sales margins while financial applications contain financial performance data. The need to satisfy requirements for regulatory compliance, data theft prevention and sound corporate governance make it imperative that organizations implement the necessary controls to prevent exposure of this sensitive information.
Most enterprises take measures to protect the sensitive data in their production environments. These can include technical controls such as firewalls, two-factor authentication and columnlevel access controls, as well as policy controls such as user training, data handling procedures and regular audits. However, data from production applications is frequently copied to support application development, testing, QA and pilots. As a result, sensitive data managed in these applications can be inadvertently propagated throughout the extended enterprise and exposed to a wide variety of individuals who may not have a business need to access this information.