Sensitive Data Discovery Tools

Best Sensitive Data Discovery Tools include:

Thales CipherTrust Data Discovery and Classification.

Sensitive Data Discovery Tools Overview

What are Sensitive Data Discovery Tools?

Sensitive data discovery tools identify unknown sources of data within an organization, particularly sources of sensitive data, and classifies the risk associated with each source of data. These tools help organizations maintain data compliance and prevent damage from data breaches or loss, as well as enabling more efficient sensitive data storage. Sensitive data comes with its own classification metrics, based on what kind of demographic, health, and other individual-level data is in question, including consumer data in some cases. This classification allows organizations to better understand and mitigate the risks associated with storing sensitive data.

Sensitive data discovery tools are particularly relevant for large enterprises and orgs that work with lots of sensitive data, such as insurance companies and others that work with their end-users/customer’s sensitive or proprietary data. Managing, and even identifying, sensitive data is especially challenging when there are so many structured and unstructured sources of data, including sensitive data. Sensitive data discovery tools address this concern for enterprises.

Sensitive Data Discovery vs. BI Data Discovery

Sensitive data discovery overlaps in naming with business intelligence-related data discovery processes. However, the functions and associated products are very distinct. Sensitive data discovery focuses on identifying and securing risk associated specifically with sources of sensitive data. In contrast, BI-related data discovery focuses on combining disparate sources of data for collective analysis. Both classes of tools prioritize identifying sources of data within an organization, but for vastly different purposes.

Sensitive Data Discovery Tools Features & Capabilities

Many tools have specialized features and niches, but there are a few core areas that all sensitive data discovery tools should include:

  • Identification of known and unknown data sources

  • Classification of data’s sensitivity, vulnerability, and general risk profile

  • Mapping, visualization, and/or reporting on data sources within organization

Sensitive Data Discovery Tools Comparison

When comparing different sensitive data discovery tools, consider these factors:

  • Remediation tools: Identifying sensitive data is only helpful if the organization knows what to do with that information. What suggestions or proactive actions can each product take to improve the organization’s sensitive data storage and security posture? How well does each tool integrate with other Risk, Governance & Compliance (GRC) tools the organization uses?

  • Classification Process: How customizable, automated, and generally robust is the tagging and classification structure for each product? Ideally, the vendor should be able to identify either a demo or a similar use case and deployment to your organization to demonstrate prior success. Also consider how automated the classification processes are.

  • Ease of Use: In general, how easy to use is each product? How intuitive are its visualization capabilities? Will it require ongoing IT support and maintenance to use, or are most of the processes and alerts automated?

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Sensitive Data Discovery Products

(1-25 of 35) Sorted by Most Reviews

IBM Security Guardium

IBM Security Guardium (formerly InfoSphere Guardium) is IBM's database security solution, that aims to offer organizations comprehensive visibility, actionable insights and real-time controls to help users comply with regulations, preserve privacy and secure your sensitive data — no…

Digital Guardian

The Digital Guardian Platform from the company company of the same name in Waltham, Massachusetts is a cloud-delivered data protection platform purpose-built to stop data loss by both insiders and outsiders on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Additionally, Digital Guardian…

Thales CipherTrust Data Discovery and Classification

Thales CipherTrust Data Discovery and Classification helps organizations get complete visibility into sensitive data, boasting efficient data discovery, classification, and risk analysis across heterogeneous data stores - the cloud, big data, and traditional environments across the…

SolarWinds MSP Risk Intelligence

SolarWinds MSP Risk Intelligence is a data breach vulnerability assessment tool suite that finds sensitive data, supporting network security to ensure a business and the data it stores remains strictly between the business and its customers, to reduce the threat of third-party breach,…

Protegrity Data Protection Platform

Protegrity Data Protection Platform classifies and discovers data while protecting it, first classifying data, allowing users to categorize the type of data that can mostly be in the public domain. With those classifications established, the platform then leverages machine learning…

Solix Enterprise Data Management Suite (Solix EDMS)

Solix Enterprise Data Management Suite (Solix EDMS) is an information lifecycle management solution, from Solix Technologies in Santa Clara. Solix helps infrastructure and operations leaders implement the right policies, processes, and technology for application decommissioning and…

Dataguise DgSecure, from PKWARE

Dataguise DgSecure delivers what the vendor describes as a precise data-centric governance solution that detects, audits, protects, and monitors sensitive data assets in real time wherever they live and move across the enterprise and in the cloud. Dataguise is now a PKWARE solution…

Proofpoint Data Discover

Proofpoint Data Discover locates, tracks, and helps secure sensitive data across a wide variety of locations and transmission to prevent internal threats and enforce compliance with regulations and policy.

erwin Data Intelligence

erwin Data Intelligence (erwin DI) combines data catalog and data literacy capabilities for greater awareness of and access to available data assets, guidance on their use, and guardrails to ensure data policies and best practices are followed. Automatically harvest, transform and…


The WireWheel Privacy Software Platform includes a suite of solutions to automate fulfillment of Data Subject Rights Requests (DSARs), CCPA “Do Not Sell” requests, privacy assessments (PIAs and DPIAs), Records of Processing, data flow mapping, data discovery, classification and more.… in San Jose offers technology solutions to help users identify any sensitive data across an organization in structured and unstructured systems, as well as automate data privacy, security & governance. Boasting modern machine learning and pattern matching techniques, it…

Ground Labs

Ground Labs enables organizations to discover and remediate their data across multiple types and locations — on servers, on desktops and in the cloud. Ground Labs boasts a comprehensive and trusted solution for the enterprise to confidently mitigate risk and find sensitive data. Ground…

CipherTrust Data Security Platform

Thales' CipherTrust Data Security Platform (replacing the former Vormetric Data Security Platform) aims to remove complexity from data security, accelerate time to compliance, and secure cloud migrations. The platform is built on a modern micro-services architecture, is designed…

MENTIS Data Security Platform

MENTIS's unified solution aims to enable data security while equipping users with the tools to respond to compliance-related requests like the Right to Know and Right to Erasure in a swift and efficient manner. Users can Discover, Protect, and Monitor enterprise sensitive data across…


iDiscover enables users to uncover location hidden sensitive data within the enterprise through MENTIS’ Sensitive Data Discovery module. With it, users can find data hidden in all types of data stores in the most obscure locations, be it structured, unstructured, Big Data, or on…


DataGrail is a purpose-built privacy management platform from the company of the same name in San Francisco, that aims to ensure sustained compliance with the GDPR, and CCPA. The Privacy Platform directly integrates with more than 150 business systems, such as Salesforce, Adobe, and…

Spirion Sensitive Data Manager

Spirion's Sensitive Data Manager is a software solution designed to help users discover complete landscape of sensitive structured and unstructured data across an environment on networks, clouds, and remote file servers. Users can know where ever-expanding footprint of sensitive…

Varonis Data Classification Engine

The Varonis Data Classification Engine discovers sensitive content, shows users where it is exposed, and helps users lock it down (and keep it that way) without interrupting business.

ManageEngine DataSecurity Plus

ManageEngine's DataSecurity Plus is a software solution to help users find, analyze, and track sensitive personal data—also known as PII/ePHI— residing in Windows file servers and failover clusters.


Nightfall AI and Nightfall DLP solutions, from Shoreline Labs (or Nightfall) in San Francisco, is a sensitive data discovery and exfiltration prevention solution that uses machine learning to identify business-critical data, like customer PII, across SaaS, APIs, and data infrastructure,…

Azure Information Protection

Microsoft's Azure Information Protection is a solution designed to enable users to better protect sensitive information. With it, users can control and secure email, documents, and sensitive data shared outside a company. From classification to embedded labels and permissions, users…


Immuta is a data access and control solution for DataOps and engineering teams with cloud data ecosystems, from the company of the same name in College Park. Immuta automates access and privacy controls across multiple cloud services, eliminating the need for data engineers to copy…

Cyberhaven Dynamic Data Tracing

Cyberhaven headquartered in Palo Alto is a DLP software solution provider, whose tools Dynamic Data Tracing solution automatically classifies sensitive data based on data origin, its creator, and content, and proactively finds and mitigates risks whether due to malicious insiders,…

PKWARE Data Security Platform

The PKWARE data security platform monitors and protects sensitive information in files on endpoints, servers, and beyond. With PKWARE, users can protect each type of data and enforce an organization’s security policies in real time. PKWARE detects sensitive data as files are created…

PII Tools

PII Tools from RARE Technologies in Monrovia is a sensitive data discovery software solution, boasting automated PII scans and data audits for maintained compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do sensitive data discovery tools do?

Sensitive discovery tools map out and identify all the known and unknown sources of data that could have sensitive data within it. They also classify the data based on sensitivity, vulnerability, and other risk profiles.

What is the difference between data discovery and sensitive data discovery?

“Data discovery” usually refers to a business intelligence practice of centralizing disparate sources of data into one tool that an end-user can then analyze. In contrast, sensitive data discovery is a security and risk management function for the IT department of an organization.

Who uses sensitive data discovery tools?

Sensitive data discovery tools are most often used by large organizations with complex and sprawling IT infrastructures that lead to many different sources of data. Within these organizations, IT specialists normally administer the tool.

What are the benefits of data discovery tools?

Data discovery tools help organizations maintain data compliance and trust with customers. They also mitigate the risk from data breaches or loss.

What is sensitive data?

Sensitive data is often referred to as personally identifiable data, or data that has certain individual markers or demographic information, such as racial or ethnic information. In some cases, consumer information can also qualify as sensitive data.