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Data discovery: the foundation of your data privacy program

Previously, data discovery wasn’t integrated into privacy programs because the technology wasn’t there. But now it is.
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4 min read
January 19, 2022
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Building a strong data privacy program is a multi-pronged process with many steps to take. The first step to data privacy involves data discovery.

Traditional data discovery services—at least as traditional as anything can be in this field—fall short and need to be improved upon. Instead, there are more modern advanced data discovery tools available that rise to the occasion and serve as solutions for business and brand needs. When the data discovery process is done well, companies can build effective and efficient privacy programs that work for their business and all users involved.

The shortcomings of traditional data discovery and collection

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

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times with manual data discovery lengthy (ranging anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks), the collected data would be stale and outdated, meaning the data collection process was really a waste of energy and resources.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

How modern data discovery solutions solve old business problems

When different parts of organizations are agile and adaptable, that’s when they have a better chance to be of optimal use in the business world. The same holds for data discovery tools.

Modern data discovery tools are "always-on," which means they’re continuously scanning your systems for changes in the data and updating your visibility. They’re also secure, which is obviously crucial for data integrity and gives users valuable peace of mind. Secure data discovery is attainable thanks to modern solutions, 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 smart data discovery needs to be integrated and native to privacy tooling. If that data discovery platform is built-in and native, it becomes part of the privacy process; making it easier for businesses to achieve compliance across all data systems. Another crucial part to remember about smart data discovery is that integration means privacy management software is enabled to handle important use cases like dynamic records of processing activities (ROPAs) and the data lifecycle.

Being intentional with modern data discovery

The passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 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 data discovery rollouts that were harmful to both companies and customers.

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

According to Gartner, 25% of the world is covered in privacy regulations. By 2023, they estimate that number will balloon to 70%. And unfortunately, 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 in this ever-changing market

Conclusion on the data discovery process

Companies must remember that data discovery services should be the foundation of their privacy program. Implementing a data discovery tool can sound like a daunting and scary task, but firms can make their data discovery programmable, scalable, and native to their business services and systems. If done right, effective data discovery will reduce risk, increase operational efficiency, and improve compliance to the various data privacy regulations around the world.

With data discovery in place, your data and privacy leaders can turn their attention to more advanced challenges in the data privacy and data collection space - of which there is no shortage!

Read time
4 min read
January 19, 2022
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