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Personally identifiable data.
How we found it all, and how you could too

“Finding and classifying personally identifiable information within a sea of unstructured data is a particularly challenging problem…I was introduced to a product that claimed to be able to find and classify everything we had ever produced – the downside, however, was threefold:
The installation was tricky, the server size requirements were huge, and the amount of time it would take to process our data was considerable – several days in fact.   

“Since then I have been introduced to Ascema – and the contrast could not be greater. The Ascema Data Discovery tool virtually detected every unstructured file type I could throw at it; but beyond that, the installation – a simple Manager/endpoint agent deployment – was incredibly straightforward and effective.”

Rob Batters, Director of Managed & Technical Services at Northdoor.

 Northdoor works with a variety of partners across a range of sectors in order to help its customers with their data security needs – not least because Northdoor has a policy of testing out solutions on its own internal needs before recommending to clients. Northdoor specialises in Data – helping its customers to exploit this asset to gain a competitive edge and increase their bottom line. Northdoor services cover the entire data journey from security to business process management and the organisation was delighted to partner with Geolang to offer the next generation of data to its customers via Geolang’s data loss prevention solution (DLP), Ascema.

 About Geolang’s Ascema

Geolang’s Ascema Platform introduces the next generation data loss prevention (DLP) solution, by protecting customer documents at true content level, by using content fingerprinting. This means that that protection is still enforced regardless of whether users change the file type, cut snippets out or recreate with separate applications. There is no reliance on document tagging or database management, so you can deliver enterprise-level solution without the extensive overheads. When users create new content, Ascema DLP can automatically pattern match to existing content across your approved application and apply the appropriate classification – meaning that data is classified and protected in real time.

 The problem

Driven in part by recognition that there are now new, affordable easy to deploy technologies available to assist end users and enterprises in the secure management of high value information, coupled with the threat of high monetary penalties under new regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the UK’s Data Protection Act, Northdoor actively seek the latest in information security and organisational resilience solutions that ensure it remains both competitive in its offerings to clients and compliant within its own business.

Areas of particular concern surround the levels of information faced by security personnel today. It is simply not possible to review the thousands of records that are returned by many of the security systems that monitor and log potential threats meaning they are not fully operational.

Additionally, many systems tie organisations into lengthy contracts often with expensive appliances and time to value length can also extend to weeks and months. Coupled with extended procurement processes this often means time from concept to provision of a solution is upwards of 24 months.

Northdoor was looking for a solution not only to recommend to its clients but for internal use too with many contracts now stipulating parties should have the ability to locate, secure and/or delete third party data at will – and be able to evidence readily.

Northdoor recognised that a method of searching for sensitive unstructured data across the entire digital estate – including endpoints, cloud-based applications and servers, email archives and internal servers, is now a significant requirement to meet both contractual and compliance obligations in a digitally resilient and privacy lead society.

Geolang’s Ascema Data Discovery identifies, protects and reports on sensitive data across your digital estate including PCs, laptops and servers, as well as cloud applications and servers, email archives, O365 and Alfresco repositories. Ascema has been designed and engineered by GeoLang Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shearwater Group plc.

The Data Discovery Solution

Northdoor found that GeoLang’s Ascema Platform for Sensitive Data Discovery provided the perfect solution for its clients. Security teams no longer have time to review the thousands of alerts and logs generated by today’s data security solutions that are a necessary requirement for security and compliance reporting. Ascema alerts the end user in real time and offers and elegant and simple interface for end user remediation. Automated checking by Ascema that end user remediation is complete negates the need for the security team to look at each individual alert – turning the employee into an active member of the enterprise security team.

Elegantly and simply deployed in minutes, with the ability to search at a granular level for sensitive data, report and log matches for compliance purposes whilst training enterprise employees on enterprise information security policies, sensible data governance and providing the tools to easily and effectively remediate, Ascema can be supplied either as a Managed one-off or quarterly Sensitive Data Discovery Scan-as-a-Service, as an annual subscription managed by the enterprise themselves or a combination of both.

Ascema Data Discovery has helped Nothdoor to identify, protect and report on sensitive data across your digital estate including PCs, laptops and servers; as well as O365, Alfresco repositories, cloud sync folders, AWS, Azure and email archives. By providing powerful search, real time alerts including on USBs and removable drives, remediation and training capabilities to administrators, analysts and end-users, visibility of sensitive data at content level is available across the enterprise for the first time – allowing for a timely response to external requests, such as Data Subject Access or Freedom of Information Requests whilst assisting with compliance reporting and training.

“Data can be considered to be the lifeblood of the business and we help our clients with all aspects of data as it flows through the business. But we also need to be sure that we know where our client’s data resides within our own systems.”

AJ Thompson, CCO at Northdoor plc

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