How Io-Tahoe Protects Privacy Using Real-Time Data Discovery

PRODUCT ANALYSIS: Data in motion is quickly becoming the target of cyber-criminals seeking to steal private data. Protecting those data streams takes discovery, analytics and intelligence.


The rise of global compliance regulations such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is forcing enterprises to look at privacy issues in a new light. One of the biggest challenges facing organizations attempting to protect privacy comes in the form of data in motion, where data streams have become robust targets for cyber-criminals.

"As privacy and data protection regulations develop, there is an implied mandate to control all sensitive data within the enterprise, regardless of whether it is in motion or at rest," said Paige Bartley, senior analyst at 451 Research. Therein lies the challenge for most enterprises: how to apply data governance to data in motion to ensure privacy.

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New York-based Io-Tahoe aims to ease the burdens of privacy regulations and bring compliant visibility to streaming data with the company's Smart Discovery Platform, which combines data flow analytics with sensitive data discovery. That platform leverages big data concepts to identify data relationships and determine if those relationships, along with individual data elements, reveal sensitive data.   

Garnering Data in Real Time Is the Ticket

Rohit Mahajan, Io-Tahoe's chief technology and product officer, said that "organizations can use the platform to discover data and where it is located and also have the ability to understand what data is sensitive and flag it before it lands in data stores, all in real time."

It is the ability to garner insight in real time that makes Io-Tahoe somewhat unique in the data discovery space. Add to that the high level of automation enabled by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), and it becomes evident that the platform can bring automated insight determination to high-volume data transactions.

One of the most impressive features of the Smart Discovery Platform is Io-Tahoe's Smart Streaming Discovery capability, which uses AI to identify PII (personally identifiable information). PII should be considered sensitive information and is subject to privacy regulations, such as GDPR. In the past, fully discovering PII was a manual process that took numerous algorithms applied to a data store to discover. The major challenge was one of uncovering hidden associates between data elements.

"The volume of sensitive data in motion at any given time continues to be a risk to organizations that depend on privacy for brand, regulatory and compliance issues," said John Santaferraro, research director at Enterprise Management Associates.

Mitigating that risk is where Io-Tahoe's technology comes into play.

Io-Tahoe uses an easily executable paradigm to bring governance to data at rest and in motion. The platform can be installed as a cloud instance or on-premises and uses automated discovery to find hidden and/or previously unknown data relationships. The fruits of discovery are incorporated into a catalog, which business professionals can use to build a glossary of data sources and critical data relationships.

Connects to Various Platforms

Io-Tahoe can connect to numerous data platforms, including IBM DB2, Sybase, MS SQL and a majority of cloud-sourced data sources. The fully demonstrated value of Io-Tahoe comes in the form of using intelligent automation to quickly discover and catalog data, which can then drive data governance by providing decision makers with the insights necessary to capture, manage and govern data.

"Knowing where the data about your customers resides is no longer a luxury," said Oksana Sokolovsky, Io-Tahoe's CEO. "it is increasingly a mandatory requirement. Companies that cannot achieve this goal face civil penalties; even more importantly, they could face irrevocable reputational damage."

Mahajan added: "By contrast, those companies that are able to monitor PII at every stage as part of a trustworthy relationship with their customers are more likely to build a long-lasting relationship with them."

As privacy concerns evolve into extended legislation, solutions such as Io-Tahoe will become must-haves for enterprises seeking to ensure compliance. Currently, Io-Tahoe has a head start when it comes to data in motion discovery and sets the stage for how PII should be addressed.

Frank Ohlhorst is a veteran IT product reviewer and analyst who has been an eWEEK regular for many years.