Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Scanner Primary Account Number (PAN) Scanner

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Add an early warning system to your compliance toolbox– discovery and detection of confidential customer information made simple.

Industry studies reveal that over two-thirds of businesses store unencrypted payment card, social security, or driver’s license data on their business systems and network. RSI’s PII / PAN scanner reveals your potential liability exposure by detecting confidential client information that you (or your employees) may have inadvertently stored on your system.

PII / PAN data stored in your network, logs, hard drives, or files will increase scope and liability for you and benefit cybercriminals. Using a methodology and proven technology to scan and detect stored card data can help you reduce liability and ensure compliance with PCI DSS, NY DFS, FINRA, and GDPR regulations. You are able to scan your system as many times as needed to monitor any changes or additions of PII / PAN data to your data environment.

Our scanner will detect the records that exist (names, Social Security numbers, credit cards) as well as report how many reside on your system. Contact us today for a free download and assurance that you can validate compliance.

What is PII scanning?

PII scanning is the process of tracking down personally identifiable information (PII) on systems. Identifying and locating this information is a critical aspect of maintaining a secure PII policy, mitigating data breaches, and meeting compliance requirements.

Types of PII

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines PII as any information that can identify or be used to identify an individual. This includes information like the following:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Social security numbers
  • ID numbers
  • Account numbers
  • Biometric data
  • Signatures

PII is not limited to these types of data, and it's essential to remember that some data that may not identify an individual when standing alone may do so when combined with other data.

What Is PAN Data And Why Is It Important?

Primary account number (PAN) data refers to the unique series of digits associated with a cardholder account. PAN data is used to identify a card during transactions so payments can be processed. PAN data is critical from both a privacy and security standpoint.

Organizations that process cardholder data have a responsibility to ensure that it is handled securely. If PAN data must be stored, it can become the target of cyberattacks, putting your organization's systems and the integrity of that data at risk.

It is essential to ensure that any security vulnerabilities in your organization's system are addressed and that best practices for processing PAN data are followed to maintain a secure environment and remain compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

The Benefits of Using a PII Scanner

Using a PII scanner can provide several benefits in PII management:

  • Efficient data discoveryThe first step to keeping PII data secure is knowing what is present on your organization's servers. Once data has been identified, your organization can keep the owners of that data assured that their information is safe, improving trust in your organization and its reputation. Using a PII scanner can facilitate this more quickly and accurately than a manual search process.
  • Tracking down security issuesUnencrypted data is a severe security risk, so tracking it down so it can be encrypted should be a priority. PII scanners will help track down any unencrypted data so it can be secured, and it also offers insight into data handling processes and procedures that may need to be revisited and improved.
  • Meeting regulatory requirementsSeveral regulations exist to protect different types of sensitive data, and keeping all data secure requires ongoing effort. PII scanners can help streamline the identification of PII data on your organization's systems, facilitating a smoother process for both achieving and maintaining compliance.

Who are PII Scanning Tools For?

PII scanning tools are for any organization that may host or process sensitive personal information. They are especially useful when it's necessary to comply with any legal regulations or security standards, including:

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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PII / PAN Scanner FAQs

PII tools are scanning software designed to help identify and locate personally identifiable information on a system so that it can be properly secured.

A PII database is any database that stores any personally identifiable information or information concerning PII.

PII data exists just as any other data does, but what makes it unique is that this data comprises information that could pose various risks to the individual it belongs to if compromised. Since accessing this data is the specific goal of many cyberattacks, any organization handling this data could become the target of an attack.

Various processes may lead to the collection of PII data, and how your organization receives it depends on what data you gather, why it’s collected, and how it's used. Depending on the data, follow the best practices for transmitting that data laid out by applicable security standards, regulations, and internal security processes and procedures.

Personally identifiable information refers to any information that can identify an individual. That can include protected health information (PHI) if that data could be used to identify the person.

PHI more specifically refers to information related to an individual's health conditions, healthcare, or payment related to said healthcare and is protected by HIPAA.

Encryption is one of the primary ways to protect PII. It is both considered one of the best practices for protecting PII and essential to meeting data security standards.


Organizations that trust RSI Security

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