Personally Identifiable Information (PII) scanners are privacy protection tools that search for and classify Personal Identifiable Information (data-at-rest) such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers. Once this information is found, the admin can make further decisions such as moving or encrypting the data. By regularly conducting PII scans, organizations can ensure that their data is safe and secure.
This article will go through the ten best PII scanner tools on the market. This article will help you choose the right PII scanner tool for your specific needs. Let’s get started!
Why Use PII Scanning Tools
You might want to use PII scanning or PII data discovery tools for a few key reasons. Maybe, you’re worried about a data breach or theft and want to ensure that all of your PII is secure. Perhaps you want a clearer idea of what data could be easily collected about the employees in your organization.
In either case, PII scanning tools can be a valuable resource. These tools can protect your privacy by giving you greater visibility into the data collected and stored about you (or employees). And by helping you understand what information could be easily collected, these PII scan tools can also empower you to make more informed decisions about how to protect your data.
Furthermore, proper auditing and compliance are vital to protecting people’s personal information if you work with sensitive data. For instance, PII scanning tools can help you fulfill requirements and pass regulations like PCI DSS or HIPAA. In addition, with PII scanning tools, you can also conduct Privacy Impact Assessments to help specify PII classification, collection method, where it is stored, how it is moved, or how it is disposed of.
So, if you’re looking for a way to explore and protect your Personally Identifiable Information, consider using PII scanning tools.
PII scanning tools help you locate and identify PII data so you can take appropriate steps to protect it.
Here is our list of the best PII scanners on the market:
- ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – EDITOR’S CHOICE This software package provides data access logging, protection for AD objects, and reporting for compliance with PII and other standards. Runs of Windows Server, Azure, and AWS. Get a 30-day free trial.
- Netwrix Auditor A complete visibility platform designed for risk mitigation and behavior analytics. It provides robust PII scanning and discovery.
- Azure Information Protection (AIP) The Azure AIP provides scanning and classification capabilities for your sensitive labels.
- Endpoint Protector A cross-platform DLP solution capable of discovering, monitoring, and controlling PII on endpoints.
- Nightfall A cloud-based DLP with powerful PII scanning features and outstanding integration capabilities.
- Digital Guardian A DLP solution built to stop data breaches at the endpoint. It provides data scanning and classification.
- Egnyte Business A security and governance solution to help you manage and control all your content, including PII.
- Teramind DLP An endpoint and user activity monitoring solution that focuses on DLP and insider threat detection.
- ManageEngine Data Security Plus An all-in-one solution to help you audit file access events, perform analytics and generate reports.
- Varonis A data security and threat detection platform that uses Machine Learning to identify abnormal user behavior or discover vulnerable PII data.
- Netwrix Data Classification A solution that discovers sensitive information, including PII, automatically reduces its exposure.
The Best PII Scanning Tools
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus is a software system that collects log massage and then scours them for records of file access events and content changes. The system compiles information in each user account as listed in Active Directory. If sudden changes occur in an account’s pattern of behavior, administrators need to investigate.
The system also logs any changes made within Active Directory. This is to ensure that hackers can’t create new accounts or escalate the privileges of a captured account. The log records base created by ADAudit Plus can be audited by the tool for compliance with PII and there is also a reporting module. The package is also suitable for businesses that need to follow GDPR, GLBA, SOX, PCI DSS, and FISMA.
- ADAudit Plus identifies the user accounts behind file changes
- ADAudit Plus protest accounts in Active Directory
- ADAudit Plus provides auditing and reporting for PII compliance
- ADAudit Plus isn’t available as a SaaS deal
- Standard: From $595 per year
- Professional: From $945 per year
Trial: ManageEngine offers ADAudit Plus on a 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus is our top pick! The log records base created by ADAudit Plus can be audited by the tool for compliance with PII and there is also a reporting module. The package is also suitable for businesses that need to follow GDPR, GLBA, SOX, PCI DSS, and FISMA.
2. Netwrix Auditor
Netwrix Auditor is a visibility platform used for risk mitigation and behavior analytics. It allows organizations to quickly identify and respond to security incidents and make informed decisions about their data security strategy.
Netwrix Auditor is one of the best PII scanning tools because it provides robust data discovery capabilities to scan your network for sensitive PII information. The tool gives you numerous filters and report customization options that give you complete control over what data is collected and reported, making it easy to focus on the most critical information.
- Netwrix Auditor provides a comprehensive view of user activity and data security, making detecting sensitive data leaks and compliance issues easy.
- The platform includes many features and capabilities, making it a powerful tool for data security and compliance.
- Netwrix Auditor is easy to use and deploy, with a simple interface that makes it easy to get started.
- Netwrix Auditor has various features that may be overwhelming for some users.
- The platform is expensive and may not be affordable for all organizations.
- Netwrix Auditor requires a high level of technical expertise to deploy and use effectively.
Price: The cost of the solution will vary depending on the number of users and devices you need to monitor. The price is not officially listed on Netwirx’s site. Get a quote.
Trial: Netwrix offers a 20-days free trial.
3. Azure Information Protection (AIP)
Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection (AIP) scanner is a tool that can help organizations scan for and classify sensitive information from their office environments. The AIP scanner uses sensitive labels (configured by the user) to discover labeled files and automatically classify data. The scanner comes as a downloadable virtual machine that you can deploy on-premises or in the cloud and can scan file shares, email stores, and SharePoint sites.
AIP scanner is high-speed and efficient. It can scan large codebases quickly and accurately. API scanner is a powerful tool that can help organizations find and fix API-related security vulnerabilities quickly and easily. It is available for both Windows and Linux platforms.
- AIP offers a data classification solution to help you automatically label and protect your sensitive files in the cloud and on-premises.
- AIP also includes features for Control access to documents (including watermarking),
- You can use AIP labels to trigger other security measures, such as encrypting a file when it’s labeled “confidential.”
- AIP can inspect any file that Windows can index.
- AIP labels can confuse end-users, and training them to use the system may take some time.
- AIP is a bit pricey, especially if you want to unlock all of its features.
Price: AIP Scanner has four different plans: The free version, AIP for Office 365 (included in O 365 Enterprise E3 and above), AIP Premium P1, and AIP Premium P2. The price for Plan 1 (P1), the monthly subscription costs $2. While for plan 2, it costs $5 per user per month.
Trial: Sign up to (Enterprise Mobility + Security E5) for an AIP free trial.
4. Endpoint Protector
Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys is an industry-leading cross-platform Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software. The solution is designed to help you discover, keep track of, and protect sensitive data on your endpoint devices. The software uses a combination of watermarking, encryption, and device control to prevent data loss.
Endpoint Protector’s DLP capabilities allow users to monitor and control PII in motion and at-store. This PII scanning tool allows users to discover, block, and monitor more than 100 file types of sensitive PII data on your endpoints.
- It prevents data loss for various devices, including laptops, PCs, and smartphones.
- You can use it to restrict access to specific websites and applications.
- You get remote management capabilities for managing your data.
- Create custom reports as per your requirements.
- The free version does not include all features.
- Some users have found the interface to be overwhelming.
Price: The price is not listed on Endpoint Protector’s site. Please request a quote.
Trial: Subscribe to get a 30-day free trial.
Nightfall is a cloud-based DLP solution with PII data scanning, discovery, and classification capabilities, to help organizations manage and protect their sensitive data. It uses machine learning (ML) algorithms to automatically identify and classify PII data across your infrastructure, SaaS, or APIs.
The Nightfall PII Scanner is fast, accurate, and easy to use. Plus, it brings (through integrations) data protection to a wide variety of modern applications, including Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, Confluence, Jira, Amazon S3, and more.
- Nightfall allows for easy and secure communications.
- It provides proactive compliance with HIPAA, PCI, GDP, CCPA, and more.
- It scans your data with an ML-trained PII detector.
- Initially, Nightfall is a bit challenging to set up, but it can be simple once it is deployed.
- If you are looking for premium PII, Nightfall can be on the expensive side.
Price: The price is not listed on the official site, but they list the following plans: Developer Platform (Free, Enterprise), Nightfall for Slack (Pro and Enterprise), GitHub, Google Drive, Confluence, and Jira plans.
Free version: If you sign up for the Nightfall Developer Platform, you’ll get the free plan (with a limit of 3GB of PII scanning data per month.)
6. Digital Guardian’s DLP
Digital Guardian by Fortra is a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution purpose-built to stop data breaches at the endpoint. The platform uses a multi-layered approach that includes activity monitoring, file, content controls, and data classification to protect PII and other sensitive data across your enterprise.
Digital Guardian offers a comprehensive solution for data loss prevention that covers all the places where you store and move data, from endpoint to cloud. Digital Guardian’s DLP is also cloud-delivered (powered by Amazon’s AWS), which means it is well-positioned to serve data on the cloud.
- The platform uses a multi-layered approach to security (from endpoint to the cloud).
- The solution is also customizable so that you can tailor it to your specific needs.
- It offers real-time protection to ensure your data is always safe.
- The solution can be complex to implement and manage, especially for larger enterprises.
- Digital Guardian can also be expensive, particularly for businesses without experience with DLP solutions.
Price: The price is not officially listed on the website.
Trial: No free trial is available, but you can request a free demo.
7. Egnyte Business
Egnyte Business is an all-in-one security and governance solution to manage and control all your content. This platform provides you with a centralized control panel for all your content stored on-premises or in the cloud. In addition, Egnyte Business provides a professional PII scanning tool to help you find, classify, and protect your sensitive data. With Egnyte Business you can search for specific data types, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers, and get detailed reports on where that data is located.
Egnyte offers several features to empower your security. For instance, it uses a 256-bit AES encryption to protect files at rest, and also to set granular permissions. In addition, all files are stored in geographically distributed data centers to ensure high availability and reliability.
- The platform allows users to access and share files from any device or location.
- Despite being a quite robust solution, Egnyte is easy to set up and use.
- Amazing tech and customer support.
- The platforms lack more granular controls when setting permissions.
- It can be expensive for businesses with significant data storage needs.
Price: Egnyte Business costs $20/User/Month (annually).
Trial: Register to get a 15-day free trial.
8. Teramind DLP
Teramind is an endpoint and user activity monitoring software. It specializes in software for data loss prevention, insider threat detection, workplace productivity, and compliance management.
Teramind’s DLP provides an exceptional PII scanner tool to detect and classify more than 60 types of sensitive PII data, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, passport numbers, etc. The tool has content tagging and fingerprinting capabilities to let you define, discover and protect your PII.
- Generate detailed reports on what data is at risk.
- It gives flexible deployment options, which means you can use Teramind DLP in the cloud, on-premises, or both.
- Fantastic privacy compliance and access control.
- The price tag may be off-putting for some organizations.
- The platform is bloated with too many features, making it overwhelming at first use.
- For new users, the learning curve may be steep.
Price: Teramind DLP pricing starts at $12.50 /user/month.
Trial: Register to start a Teramind DLP free trial.
9. ManageEngine Data Security Plus
ManageEngine Data Security Plus is a comprehensive data security solution that provides a centralized platform for managing and securing data in your Windows environments. With this solution, you can audit all file access events in real-time, perform analytics on storage and generate valuable reports.
Data Security Plus also offers powerful PII scanning capabilities. You can scan, find, analyze, and report on any PII-related sensitive data on your network. For instance, you could identify electronically protected health information (ePHI) stored in an old Windows server somewhere in your network and do something about it. In addition, this tool helps meet multiple challenging compliance requirements.
- It is easy to use with an intuitive UI.
- ManageEngine Data Security Plus is one of the most cost-efficient.
- They have a reputation for providing excellent customer support.
- Only supported for Windows environments.
- It can be challenging to scale for large enterprise deployments.
- Some users have found the UI to be cluttered and confusing.
Price: Its pricing starts at $745/year for file server auditing.
Trial: Download a free, fully functional, 30-day trial.
Varonis is a data security and threat detection platform that helps organizations protect their data from cyberattacks. The Varonis platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify unusual user behavior, recognize vulnerable data, and reduce the risk of data breaches.
Varonis provides a robust data classification engine, to help you scan and discover, and automatically classify sensitive files including PII and others, reduce their exposure, and alert on any abnormal access.
- Varonis scanning and logging are robust.
- Outstanding automation to detect anomalies and take action.
- Create audits of the entire Active Directory and file system.
- Some reporting and dashboards are difficult to navigate.
- Varonis requires a higher processing power to run.
- You’ll need a dedicated team to manage and monitor Varonis to get the most out of it.
Price: Request a quote.
Free trial: There is no free trial, but you can register for a free demo.
11. Netwrix Data Classification
Data Classification is another great PII scanning solution from Netwrix. It provides various data solutions like data breach mitigation, data’s true value discovery, employee productivity improvements, and help with compliance and audits. The solution identifies any PII-sensitive data on-premises and in the cloud and automatically reduces its exposure by quarantining the most sensitive data stored in un-secure locations.
Netwrix Data Classification is popular for protecting Windows File Servers. The solution provides a Windows Server role known as Windows Server File Classification Infrastructure (FCI). This role enables you to manage and classify data stored on Windows file servers from a centralized console.
- Automatically classify files and identify sensitive data.
- Data classification is made easy.
- Predefined categories.
- Powerful reporting and alerting capabilities.
- Requires an agent on each file server or the client computer.
- It can impact performance on file servers and client computers.
- It may require additional storage for the classification database.
Price: For more pricing information, request the price.
Trial: Netwrix offers Data Classification for a free trial.
PII scanning tools automate the process of discovering and classifying Personally Identifiable Information (PII); they help organizations keep their data safe and compliant with data privacy regulations. PII scanning tools are also great for auditing your company’s most valuable data— your employee’s PII. Finding their sensitive information before the bad guys do will ensure everyone’s privacy and security.
What are yours?