The Critical Need For Data Security And The Role Of Redaction

In today’s world of function creep, companies are searching for ways beyond the average data security techniques to protect the data that they are entrusted with. Innovative start-ups have begun to stretch the horizons of traditional data privacy techniques like Redaction Software.

To an ordinary netizen, almost all websites seem trustworthy on the surface – but lurking under the comforting aesthetics of any webpages are threats that require companies that specialize in Data Security to strengthen their barriers around consumer data. Let’s look at exactly how data is being protected by other forces of society, like governments and finance systems across the world.

Data Privacy And Why You Need It

28th January is Data Privacy Day, which is currently observed in the USA, Canada, Israel and forty-seven European countries. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about data protection and privacy. Today, the significance of this purpose cannot be overstated. The GDPR in the European Union imposes a uniform data security law on all EU members; the member states do not have to draft their own data protection laws that are consistent across the entirety of the EU. The corresponding act in India is the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act). This act makes sure that anyone who is detrimentally affected by a data breach or a personal information disclosure case are compensated fairly. Furthermore, the IT Act applies only to companies, not to the government.

Data Protection

Data protection deals with two broadly classified types which are personal and non-personal data. It deals with the policies and laws that help minimize the intrusion into one’s privacy, which can be caused by the collection and usage of their personal data.

This brings us to the topic at hand – what is the most efficient way to protect sensitive data? The answer to this is contextual. Organizations have structured and unstructured information. The following data protection solutions might work for your situation:

Redaction

Redaction is the permanent removal of sensitive data from a digital document. It is the sanitizing of document by irreversibly taking out information. It can be done by simply deleting characters from a document or by replacing characters with placeholders or asterisks. Artificial intelligence has facilitated us into effectively using automated methods in methods of redaction wherein algorithms work (OCR) technology to scan and identify the information under question.

PDF Redaction Software process the editing of a document in order to remove and protect sensitive data. PDF redaction tools, like the one offered by teX.ai, commonly redact by using black rectangles shown covering part, or in some instances, all of the text. A powerful text redactor such as this one can manage large amounts of content within a small period.

Redaction can be done manually but it is time consuming and not very efficient. The paper document redaction method has been outdated by technology and there have been newer redaction tools in the form of open source software and paid products in the form of desktop redaction software that do the job on documents of a variety of formats. These software sanitize the document and store them on a secure SFS database as a redacted copy.

Redaction is usually a process that needs to be in compliance with data privacy laws such as the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA).

Encryption

Encryption software is used in the secure exchange of data so that it is protected whether it is structured or not. This versatility has popularized encryption within most industries. It uses complex algorithm for the conversion of the plaintext (the original data) into ciphertext (blocks of unreadable data). The ciphertext cannot be decrypted without the right key, making it virtually indestructible.

Transparent encryption protects data at rest and does the decryption before it is accessed by the authorized users. By protecting data as it travels, methods like network protection offers safe data on either side of the exchange. End-to-end encryption in this manner is used by many companies, including WhatsApp. Protecting data using persistent encryption ensures that it is safe regardless of where it is transferred to or stored. This provides maximum security against unsolicited use of personal data.

Tokenization

Tokenization is usually used when dealing with structured data – in payment processing systems. Much like encryption, tokenization replaces the data with text and information that cannot be decrypted by unauthorized parties. How tokenization differs from encryption is in the way it uses characters that are completely arbitrary – by replacing sensitive information with random data (token values), it protects the content until it is decrypted. The connection between the original values and the token values assigned are stored on a token server. When the individual needs to access the right data, the tokenization process is reversed to retain the original information.

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Masking

Data masking software is essentially tokenization, but permanent. It creates a realistic version of one’s organizational data in order to protect sensitive data, while providing a working alternative when actual data is not needed. For example, in employee training, sales demonstrations and software testing. The data that needs to be protected is replaced with randomized values in the same format. This cannot be decrypted without prior knowledge of the masking procedure. Data masking solutions can solve a variety of critical threats which include – data loss, insider threats, compromise of personal or organizational data.

Choosing an appropriate solution to your data security concerns might seem like a difficult task but this can be remedied by employing the right data security experts and closely assessing the context of potential infringement. More than an enhancement, it is an absolute necessity that companies take data privacy seriously in this day and age.

Looking to extract actionable insights from text data? teX.ai is your all-in-one solution for all your text analytics needs. Talk to us now.

Author: Adhithya S
Based in Bangalore, Adhithya Shankar is a B.A Journalism Honors graduate from Christ (deemed to be University). He is aspiring to complete his higher studies in Mass Communication and Media, alongside pursuing a career in music and entertainment.

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