Businesses are being offered free help to get ahead of new regulations coming into force next year to increase data protection for EU citizens.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to give control back to individuals and applies to all companies, anywhere in the world, which process any information about citizens and residents of European countries.

Enforcement begins on May 25 2018 and North East-based technology services company TSG is helping businesses to be prepared by offering a free five-day trial of its PII Discovery Tool.

PII, or personal identifiable information, sits at the heart of GDPR but many businesses are not fully aware of the extent of data they hold, how it is categorised or even where it is held across their systems.

Experts say that manually checking documents, highlighting sensitive information, categorising and applying restrictions and policies is likely to be a very time-consuming process for businesses that hold a large volume of PII.

TSG’s PII Discovery Tool combines Termset ScanR with a Qlik Sense dashboard to allow users to analyse the results of their investigation and to target specific detail.

The free trial will allow businesses to scan up to 1,000 documents and will provide an insight into the PII held.

TSG’s chief technology officer Paul Burns said he was confident that technology like the PII Discover Tool could play a major role in supporting businesses on their road to compliance.

He said: “Discovery is the first of four areas where we believe technology can provide a significant advantage. The other areas are protection, management and reporting but it’s crucial to understand the nature and scale of the challenge in the first place.”

TermSet ScanR effectively reads documents using sophisticated Natural Language Processing technology and can identify 21 pre-classified types of personal information. It can also be ‘taught’ to recognise almost any combination or pattern of characters.

Most importantly, unlike other solutions Termset ScanR can search and check not only Office 365 and Exchange but also on-premise SharePoint libararies, local fileshares and even databases, effectively scanning a company’s entire data estate.

The TSG trial includes remote installationa of the tool and training for users.

TSG is also offering comprehensive technology audits to help businesses understand where technology can support the compliance process. For more information visit www.tsg.com/gdpr

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