Fortra’s Data Detection Engine for Privacy Solution

Fortra’s Data Detection Engine is a solution that helps organizations accurately identify personal identifiable information (PII) and offer suggestions for, or even automatically determine, how to handle such information.

The Problem

In today’s interconnected and cloud-centric world, the need to protect consumer and employee personal data is becoming more and more evident. A growing number of organizations understand that ineffective or nonexistent privacy protection programs expose their business to significant risks, both from a financial and legal perspective; from costly regulatory fines and stock price drops to liability to customers and shareholders.

While some organizations have made efforts to build a culture of privacy, including the deployment of a data security ecosystem that is aligned with privacy objectives, many challenges remain, including internal mistakes, workflow bottlenecks, and privacy solution false positives, to name a few.

Organizations that have yet to deploy a modern data security program but realize the risk of hosting unsecured personal data in their systems struggle with the challenge of fully grasping what can be implemented within current budget and program restraints.

At either end of this spectrum, however, there is the realization that a culture of privacy and secured personal data is a requirement to the business moving forward.

The Solution

Creating a privacy ecosystem requires a deep understanding of the risks associated with handling and storing personal data in internal systems. Organizations must be able to limit the exposure of personal data, build reports on activities and threat levels, and educate end-users about best practices around personal data handling. This privacy solution must also ensure the business meets the growing list of regulatory compliance mandates set out around privacy, while demonstrating to employees, customers, and shareholders that their personal data is being protected.

Fortra – How We Can Help

DDE is a solution that helps organizations accurately identify personal identifiable information (PII) and offer suggestions for, or even automatically determine, how to handle such information. DDE uses Deep Learning, a form of Machine Learning, to categorize data. It scans through content focusing on personal identifiable information, using both words and the context of those words to reduce false positives.

As a result, DDE adds several important capabilities and benefits to your organization’s privacy program, including:

  • Reduced Risk: Fortra's Data Detection Engine dramatically enhances privacy protection and reduces risk by accurately and efficiently detecting personal data. By evaluating words within the surrounding context, DDE can accurately predict what constitutes personal data, and automatically enact the applicable data protection policy.
  • Privacy Compliance: DDE meets your organizations long-term compliance requirements needs. This lightweight solution can be deployed quickly, making it an ideal starting point for organizations beginning their privacy journey. As privacy and security ecosystems grow and form, DDE becomes an integral part of this program, ensuring all pieces of your ecosystem work as a fully optimized data privacy solution.
  • Added Context to Your Data: DDE embeds enriched metadata into your organization’s files, allowing seamless integration with your organization’s privacy and security ecosystem.
  • Downstream Protection: DDE is part of an open ecosystem, ensuring your organization’s ability to choose best-of-breed technologies and services to protect your most valuable data. Third-party solutions downstream can easily leverage the technology-agnostic DDE metadata in a fully interoperable, data security ecosystem.
  • Optimized Workflow: Data security solutions often require end users to spend time and energy to ensure data is protected, causing frustration and delays. DDE provides a seamless user experience, alleviating a common barrier to successful data protection. This allows for optimized organizational workflows and improved productivity.

Privacy and data protection solutions can be cumbersome, ineffective, and costly. DDE is a scalable solution that is highly accurate, integrates seamlessly with existing security products, and offers an effective way to reduce risk. Any organization in need of protecting sensitive personal data can enhance and optimize their privacy solution with the use of DDE; both for current and future requirements.


In a recent survey, we asked people to review a selection of brief, typical emails and identify those that contained personally identifiable information (PII).

  • On average, 22% of emails containing personal data were misidentified by survey respondents
  • 30% of respondents did not consider sensitive health information to be personal data.
  • 13% of respondents did not consider a credit card number to be personal data.
  • Survey results suggest that a company with 1,000 employees might mishandle 2+ million  emails/year. 

(Fortra “Personal Data Awareness” Survey 2019)

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