Scentric Launches Free Data Privacy Assessment Tool

A downloadable tool with a 30-day limit enables computer users to make proactive assessments of potential data privacy issues.

Scentric, developer of what it calls "the worlds first universal data classification solution," on Feb. 21 made available for free download a new data privacy assessment tool that enables enterprise users to make a full accounting of data with potential privacy risks.

The 3.57 MB Windows application is available at for a 30-day period following free user registration on the site. The application provides on-demand classification of files on laptops, desktops, filers and file servers.

The tool scans local or network drives for files containing potentially sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and social security numbers.

The types of information it seeks to identify include:

  • Personal identity—documents that may contain sensitive information related to a persons identity and which could be used for identity theft. The scan looks for a variety of items, including credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club International and Discover) and Social Security numbers.
  • Confidential material—documents that may contain sensitive information related to company projects. The scan looks for keywords including "Confidential" and "For Internal Use."
  • Medical information—documents that may contain sensitive medical or health-care-related information. The scan looks for keywords including "Life Insurance" and "Health Insurance."
  • Payroll information—documents that may contain sensitive information related to the company payroll. The scan looks for keywords including "Salary," "Stock Options" and "Date of Hire."
  • Objectionable material—documents that may contain explicit language of a sexual nature. A list of the words included in this search can be supplied on request.

Before downloading and installing the application, users need Microsofts .NET Framework 2.0 or higher running on their computers. This can be downloaded from Microsofts Web site.

Amount Of Lost Or Stolen Data Is Increasing

In the last two years, more than 100 million private data records have been lost or stolen, according to the Privacy Rights Clearing House.

The Ponemon Institute estimates the average cost of a data breach in 2006 at $182 per record, but the impact of a privacy breach on an enterprise goes beyond the dollar costs involved to include damage to a companys brand image, potential fines and lost customers.

"Enterprises shouldnt have to learn the hard way when it comes to protecting data," said Scentric President and CEO Jeff Hornung. "Weve found that most customers simply are not aware how much sensitive or regulated information is lying around unprotected in their enterprise network ... That is a recipe for disaster if the information falls into the wrong hands."

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about compliance issues.

Scentrics Data Privacy Assessment Tool is a quick, non-obtrusive way to determine how bad your situation is in terms of privacy or other violations, either based on corporate or regulatory policies, said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst, Taneja Group.

"Once you determine the level of vulnerability, you can then decide to apply the full power of Scentric Destiny to act on those violations," Taneja said. "Together these two make a very strong combination: one to assess, the other one to act on and enforce policies."

The availability of the Data Privacy Assessment Tool is a follow-up to the October launch of the Scentric Destiny Enterprise Suite for Data Privacy.

The Destiny Enterprise Suite for Data Privacy includes a scalable classification engine, support for all major file types (including Microsoft Exchange e-mail), and pre-built rule sets providing automated operations and a foundation for "best practices" in protecting sensitive information.

Scentric, based in Alpharetta, Ga., also offers enterprise suites for e-Discovery and Compliance.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...