Personal health information and personally identifiable information are detailed and useful for identifying an individual. This information is used daily to complete business operations in many industries, including insurance, finance, healthcare, and law. Nearly all industries that engage in commercial transactions with consumers regularly use this information.
When customers provide medical information, financial documents, or any other private information to companies, they expect the organization to protect their information. If the company fails to protect this information, it can even lead to legal penalties. That's when the concept of automated document redaction comes into play.
When documents with sensitive information are sent to other parties, redaction is one popular technique for hiding confidential data. Human beings are able to manage only a few documents at a time, needing redaction. Manual redaction requires businesses to scale review teams, which is time-consuming as well as expensive.
But automating the redaction of the process makes it quicker and more effective. That's why most businesses are looking for an automated redaction software solution. Before we tell you about the best tool for automated data redaction, we will let you figure out more about automated redaction.
Understanding Automated Document Redaction
Automated redaction involves using a tool to automatically detect and redact information from documents. Automated data redaction can be done with electronic documents in different formats, including PDFs, word documents, and images.
Businesses often handle sensitive information like addresses and social security numbers. It's crucial for companies to protect this sensitive information from unauthorized access, accidental disclosure, and theft. Since it's difficult to manually keep track of all documents containing confidential information, automated redaction becomes beneficial.
How Does Automated Redaction for Sensitive Information Help Save Time and Money
From court records to medical records, the need for redaction is almost everywhere. One of the major benefits of automated document redaction is that it helps you save time and money. Look at the top advantages of hiding sensitive data with automated redaction software.
Manual redaction is a lengthy and time-consuming process. When a business needs to redact information from multiple documents, manual redaction no longer seems ideal.
Automated redaction can quickly redact information from scanned documents through optical character recognition OCR. It also ensures that human resources can be used for other crucial tasks.
Manual processes are usually prone to human error. Employees might overlook vital information from documents that need redaction. It might provide hackers access to personally identifiable information PII and lead to data privacy concerns.
Automatic redaction platforms find and delete confidential information on their own. AI-powered tools can also identify regular expressions of sensitive data, such as text with abbreviations or misspelled words.
Automated document redaction reduces the number of resources required by organizations. It also ensures that businesses are able to keep up with the demands for redacted documents. It can be done without getting additional help from third-party vendors or overworking employees.
While outsourcing is an option, sometimes it is against privacy laws. Another issue solved by automated document redaction is preventing the crossing of unredacted data into another jurisdiction.
How Can You Get a Redacted Document Automatically
Automated redaction software is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. They use optical character recognition OCR to read documents and detect sensitive information. Once the software identifies what needs to be redacted, it can automatically mark the images or text for removal.
Some automated data redaction tools create redaction rules to apply when you upload documents in the future. For instance, businesses might establish a rule that redacts social security numbers from every document. It will save time and ensure that private information remains protected.
Automated redaction is a robust tool for organizations to protect customer data while saving time and money. Redacting documents manually is time-consuming, error-prone, and even expensive.
Difference Between Manual Redaction and Automated Redaction
The top features of manual redaction are as follows:
- Slow: Every document needs to be read manually.
- Degraded quality: Physically marking and re-scanning documents can degrade quality and clarity.
- Resource waste: Manual redaction compromises data privacy, along with wasting natural resources like ink and paper.
- Less secure chain of custody: Manual redaction often requires you to download documents to an individual workspace. You might even need to print them on potentially communal printers.
The top features of automated data redaction are as follows:
- Fast: Once you are done with the setup, redacting scanned documents in bulk will be a quick project. You will also be able to redact multiple pages in the same document fast.
- Accurate: Automated redaction tools offer a higher level of accuracy than manual processes.
- Secure: A digitally redacted and processed document doesn't need to be printed, scanned, or viewed by multiple people. With batch processing, automated redaction can limit access.
- Flexible: With automated document redaction, you will be able to adjust the redaction procedures. From license plates to other information, your redaction results will be in accordance with compliance regulations.
- Multiple detection methods: You will be able to find and redact information according to a variety of parameters.
Best Practices to Follow While Using a Redaction Software Solution
Do you need to redact purchase orders or a white paper? No matter what it is, you must keep in mind the following data redaction rules at all times:
The first rule involves identifying the document types that need to be redacted. A redaction tool must be able to scan through the document and figure out sensitive information that needs to be redacted.
Identifying hidden data and metadata can be a little challenging. But if the redaction process is aided by machine learning algorithms, it becomes easy to identify and delete all forms of data in a document.
Protection during an online redaction process involves three steps, including safeguarding the original documents, redacted data as well as the remaining data, even when it's not sensitive information.
The redaction tool must protect the original document for future reference by creating another copy to be redacted. The information that needs to be redacted according to legal requirements must be deleted permanently rather than being masked. Masking the data will leave behind traces, and the sensitive information can be retrieved at a later point.
The remaining data, after redacting sensitive information, should not be affected in any case. When the automated redaction tools aren't intelligent enough, you might see an error in redactions. A reliable software solution like Adobe Acrobat or Redactable will guarantee quality assurance while redacting different file types.
Reviewing involves checking whether the redacted document is error-free. The reviewer needs to check whether only sensitive information has been redacted. All other information must remain intact.
After fulfilling redacting information requests, you will want to be certain that no sensitive data is left behind. Repeating the process of identifying, protecting, and reviewing is the only way to be certain.
Mistakes to Avoid While Redacting PDF Documents
Some common mistakes that you need to avoid while redacting data are as follows:
- Be certain that you are using the right tool: You will come across various redaction tools, but not all of them support automated redaction. Redactable is one of the most reliable tools for redacting sensitive and proprietary information.
- Carefully redact sensitive data: Once you have redacted information, it becomes incredibly difficult to get them back. In some cases, it's even impossible to get back the information that you have redacted. Therefore, be certain that you want to hide a particular piece of information before applying redacting techniques.
- Track your changes: While you redact data with accuracy, you also need to keep track of the changes. A tool like Redactable shows a history of all your redacted versions.
- Don't compromise security: You have redacted all sensitive information from a document by uploading it to the redaction software. But what happens to the original document existing on your redaction software? The best redaction tool will ensure that the original file gets deleted within some time.
- Consider different types of information that you need to redact: A few types of information are more difficult to redact than others. Therefore, you need to ensure that the tool you are selecting is able to deal with different types of data.
- Don't forget to proofread what you redact: Once you are done redacting, you should always proofread. It is a safe practice to ensure that there are no mistakes in your redaction process.
Compliance Regulations Met By Redacting Text
The compliance requirements that can be met by redacting sensitive information are as follows:
- PCI DSS: It stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. The fines for not following this rule will vary from $5000 to $1000,000 per month.
- Freedom of Information Act: The public can place FOIA requests to access records from federal agencies. Automated redaction ensures that you will be able to comply with record requests in a timely manner.
- GDPR: This EU compliance regulation is for protecting data privacy, and the penalties can be as high as $25 million.
- CCPA: The California Consumer Protection Act to ensure data compliance came into effect quite recently. If non-encrypted or non-redacted information is breached, the penalties can be as high as $750 per consumer.
Redactable: The Best Tool for Automated Document Redaction
Redactable is your ultimate tool to protect sensitive information and meet compliance requirements. Even with a limited budget, the tool will equip you with numerous features. You can redact sensitive information from your documents using Redactable with just one easy click.
Preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information has become a piece of cake with Redactable. Apart from automatically redacting information, the tool offers the following features:
- Security: The internet poses security threats to your information. Malicious activities take place over the internet to exploit vulnerabilities in your system. But Redactable ensures the security of your data by issuing legally accredited redaction certificates for keeping track of redaction activities with time stamps.
- Permanence: When you use Redactable, your sensitive data will get permanently redacted. Metadata, as well as hidden data, will also get removed. It will ensure that hackers cannot tamper with sensitive information in a document.
- Simplicity: Redactable enables you to redact information from a document in an easy and simplified manner. The creative interface lets you complete your redaction project in a jiffy.
- Collaboration: Redactable has value for your time and ensures improved productivity in the workplace. It supports collaboration among team members to redact tons of files as fast as possible.
- Unlimited redactions: Redactable is a limitless solution for hiding all your sensitive information. If you are tired of messages like "file too large to upload" or "you have reached the maximum number of redactions per day," Redactable is your buddy.
Check out Redactable for free here.