Building a strong privacy program is a multi-pronged effort with many steps to take. The first step involves data discovery.

Traditional data discovery—at least as traditional as anything can be in this field—falls short and needs to be improved upon. Instead, there are more modern tools available that rise to the occasion and serve as solutions for a company’s needs. When it’s done well, companies can build effective and efficient privacy programs that work for everybody involved.

The shortcomings of traditional data discovery

Generally speaking, traditional methods of data discovery are resource-intensive, static, and incomplete. Not only do they take a lot of time, but those methods don’t even provide everything they’re supposed to.

In the past, data discovery was done by manually administering surveys across an organization. Not only were the processing times lengthy (ranging anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks), the collected data would be stale and outdated, meaning the exercise was really a waste of energy and resources.

Previously, data discovery wasn’t integrated into privacy programs because the technology wasn’t there. But now it is.

How modern solutions solve old problems

When different parts of companies are agile and adaptable, that’s when they have a better chance to be of optimal use. The same holds for data discovery solutions.

The best ones are always on, which means they’re continuously collecting data and keep updating. They’re also secure, which is obviously crucial for data integrity and gives everybody involved valuable peace of mind. This is attainable thanks to modern solutions, ones that are able to encrypt data and keep information secure.

Data discovery solutions should also be integrated with privacy management software. It’s key to remember that data discovery needs to be integrated and native to privacy management. If that data discovery platform is built-in and native, it becomes part of the process. At the same time, integrated solutions make compliance easier as well. Another crucial part to remember is that integration means privacy management software is enabled to handle important use cases like dynamic records of processing activities and the data lifecycle.

Being intentional with modern data discovery

The passage of the General Data Protection Regulation was a watershed and crucial moment for companies. After that turning point, firms had to rush data discovery methods into compliance. It was a tricky and understandably uncertain time that likely led to speedy and ineffective rollouts that were harmful to both companies and customers.

But that moment has passed, and today there’s plenty of time to create solutions that are automated, fit a business’s needs and intentional instead of rushed. To do this, companies should make data discovery the foundation of privacy programs to fully understand their data surface area.

According to Gartner, a technology research and consulting company, 25% of the world is covered in privacy regulations. By 2023, they estimate that number will balloon to 70%, which could be tricky because no two regulations will be completely the same.

Ketch solves for that by offering automatic, native, scalable, efficient, programmable data discovery solutions that are stable and reliable.


Companies must remember that data discovery should be the foundation of their privacy program. This can sound like a daunting and scary task, but firms can make their data discovery programmable, scalable and native to their systems. If done right, this will reduce risk, burnish a company’s reputation with its customers and increase compliance to the various privacy regulations around the world.

So when that’s accomplished, companies have one less thing to worry about and can turn their attention to other pressing matters.

Privacy Tech
January 19, 2022