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Data Redaction Tools: Top Solutions for 2023

Data Redaction Tools

Data security has become a top priority in our everyday activities. Moving from paperwork to electronic document processing has created a seamless way of sharing information over the internet.

Google Drive, DropBox, and related cloud-based repositories are widely used today. With cloud-based repositories, you have the advantage of convenience and unlimited storage space. 

With the reports of data breaches and cases of cyber crimes on the rise, the government has presented a vested effort toward the security of data, especially concerning the sensitive information stored in an organization’s systems.

According to The Data Protection Act 2018, it is your right to determine what information organizations store about you and how that information is used. There’s a diverse range of organizations associated with sensitive data, including

  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare providers
  • Court systems
  • Law firms
  • Financial service providers, and
  • HR departments.

To comply with the Data Protection Act, such organizations should ensure that:

  • Data is used fairly, lawfully, and transparently
  • Data is used for specified, explicit purposes
  • Data is stored no longer than is necessary
  • Data is handled to ensure appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorized processing, access, loss, destruction, or damage.e

Data security Approaches

There are different approaches to securing stored data and shared data. The standard data security approaches include

  • Data encryption
  • Data masking
  • Data tokenization,
  • Data redaction.

For a better understanding, let’s look at each and their typical use cases.

Data encryption

Encryption involves using robust algorithms to convert the original text (plaintext) to a block of unreadable text (ciphertext) that can only be understood by the sender and receiver using a decryption key.

Data encryption aims to protect sensitive information from hacking.


  • It protects confidentiality for your stored data and data transmitted via the internet.
  • Provides cloud providers with a way of managing access to the data stored in cloud-based systems
  • Data encryption enforces database, file, and application-level security for businesses and consumers.


  • Encryption policies are defined at the point of file creation. To encrypt an existing file, you will need to copy the content of the file to a new file whose encryption policy dictates the encryption of the file. 

Use cases

  • Protection of stored data

You can only read or alter the data using the decryption key. Even if you managed to access the data repository, you could only see blocks of unreadable text.

  • Secure data sharing

Data threats such as man-in-the-middle attacks cannot alter the data.

  • Structured and unstructured data

Encryption is helpful in both structured and unstructured data.

Data Masking

Masking replaces sensitive data with random characters that adopt the exact data format. There is no mechanism for retrieving the replaced information; hence data is secured from unauthorized access.

Data masking has been effected in systems where administrators are given all access privileges while users are provided with masked data, controlling unauthorized access to sensitive information.


  • Data is easily shared without any risk of compromise 
  • Integrity and format of the data are maintained
  • It is less complicated to adopt


  • Finding relevant data to substitute sensitive data for high-dimensional scenarios is difficult.
  • With minimal effort, encryption can be compromised, making it possible for your data to be accessible to third parties.

Use cases

  • Structured data
  • Test environments
  • Training sessions

Data Tokenization

Tokenization combines both encryption and masking. While encryption converts plaintext to ciphertext using a decryption key, tokenization converts the actual data into randomized data using a retrieval mechanism (token values).

Tokenization only applies to structured data.


  • Help to foster trust with customers
  • Reduces the risk of data breaches


  • Bottlenecks:  Scaling up data is difficult
  • Risks data breach: Fraudsters would achieve a massive breach if they discovered the token value
  • Tedious: Ensuring referential and format integrity of tokens across systems is complex.

Use cases

  • Payment processing systems
  • Customer service databases

Data Redaction

Equivalent to the traditional blacking of sensitive data on printed work, redaction permanently removes sensitive information on electronic files.


  • Auto-redaction allows the removal of sensitive data from massive files
  • Redaction preserves the relevance, validity, and integrity of data by permanently removing only the sensitive data
  • Auto-redaction permanently removes sensitive information, making it impossible for anyone to recreate the data.
  • Apart from the sensitive data, the rest of the data remains intact, making it easy to access


There is no typical limitation to this approach.

Use cases

  • Upon acquiring data

Removing sensitive information on acquired data renders the redacted files safe. This makes it possible to share it across your networks without the fear of data breaches. 

  • Before distributing data,

Organizations with different departments rely on the same data with varying access levels. Different levels of data redaction can be applied to the data for individual users. Data available on publicly accessible online resources should be redacted to ensure that the public has no access to sensitive information online. 

  • After project completion

Data made available to specific groups of people during a project's lifecycle should be redacted immediately after those people leave the project. 

  • Before archiving data

No longer valuable data should be redacted to prevent confidential data from archiving.

  • Before disposing of the data

Completing a project may mark the end of engagement with the members involved, which may call for disposal. Careless disposal may lead to security breaches,s and that's why redaction is necessary.

Why Data Redaction Over Masking, Tokenization, and Encryption?

As seen in the benefits, limitations, and use cases of different approaches to securing sensitive data, data redaction remains integral.

Data redaction can be applied at different levels, making it possible to choose a redaction tool based on your needs. Other reasons why data redaction may rule the world of data security include the following:

  • Rapid data redaction innovations

Recent innovations in machine learning and artificial Intelligence have seen significant achievements in data redaction, there being auto-redaction.

Sensitive information can be removed instantly, saving time and permanently, leaving no traces for hackers to get through.

  • Ease of use

Contrary to redaction, masking, and tokenization, where reference has to be made to a decryption key, actual data format, and token values, respectively, data redaction relies entirely on the real data to ensure it is devoid of sensitive information.

Removing sensitive information, such as Personally Identifiable Information, can be done automatically, making it a one-click exercise.

  • Flexibility:

There are redaction tools of all types to suit your needs. You can have unlimited redactions for unlimited file sizes, regardless of the concurrent number of people accessing the files.

Data Redaction Tools

Traditionally, hiding sensitive information on printed papers would cost hours of productivity to get the work done. Human errors, such as omitting some sensitive data, were common.

Contrary to the traditional blacking out of paper, the competition for data redaction has been on efficiency, convenience, and simplicity. Auto-redaction is gaining prominence and has become a key technology when selecting a data redaction tool.

Top Five Redaction Tools

There are different considerations to make when selecting a redaction tool. Such considerations include features, pricing plans, customer service, and storage space.

The following redaction tools are based on auto-redaction:

  1. EverMap AutoRedact

EverMap redaction software is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat that automatically removes specific categories of sensitive information in PDFs with the help of the following features:

  • Redacting dictionaries to find and redact text
  • Text pattern search capability
  • Offset redacting annotations that act as a redacting clue
  • Specific font style redaction
  • Templates for redacting


  • Ease of deployment
  • Multiple document redaction


  • The software is locally hosted, limiting storage space capabilities
  • Only one user can work on multiple documents at a time
  1. Ideagen PleaseReview

Ideagen is a document co-authoring, reviewing, and redaction software that uses third parties for collaboration. It is designed to manage the process of creating proposals.


  • Supports remote working and collaboration for teams
  • Supports multiple document formats
  • Provides an audit trail for accountability


Non-word documents are relatively challenging to redact as the software works best with word documents.

  1. Objective Redact

Objective Redact is a redaction software that allows collaboration, searching structured data or specific phrases, and creating custom rules to find and remove sensitive data from all types of documents.


  • The redaction software supports bulk redaction of groups of documents, high volumes of documents, and multiple pages.
  • Allows the review of redacted documents by relevant people before finalizing the redaction process.


No typical limitation was found for this software.

  1. Extract ID Shield

This is a cloud-based redaction software that allows government organizations to remove sensitive data from volumes of documents using algorithms and advanced rule sets.


Perform indexing for record keeping of redacted documents

Ensures compliance with privacy laws from different regions through customization


No typical limitation was found for this software.

  1. Redactable

Redactable is a SaaS (cloud-based) redaction software that automatically and permanently removes sensitive data from documents using NLP/ML technology.


  • Ease of use: Redactable has a simple that everyone can easily navigate regardless of their level of literacy
  • Collaboration: Redactable allows teams to collaborate on a project or volumes of projects increasing productivity
  • Limitless: With redaction, you enjoy unlimited redactions for unlimited documents.


no limitation has been found for this software.

Best Technology for your Redaction Software

Redactable software wraps up the best technology for your redaction tool for the best experience in data redaction.

How Redactable stands out


Perform indexing for record keeping of redacted documents

Ensures compliance with privacy laws from different regions through customization


No typical limitation was found for this software.

Redactable is a SaaS (cloud-based) redaction software that automatically and permanently removes sensitive data from documents using NLP/ML technology.

Redactable is a software dedicated to securing your sensitive data for stored documents and documents in transit. It has leveraged the benefits and bridged the gaps in existing redactions tools to present a refined product in the following ways. For example,

  • One-click auto-redaction

Redactable’s in-built Natural Processing Language can remove Personally Identifiable Information (PII) with one click. The removal is instant and permanent.

  • Best User Experience

Redactable walks you through the redaction process. Its simple interface allows easy navigation for all levels of literacy. 

There are no hidden menus and no thousands of features. Just what you need to remove sensitive data from your documents, coupled with the benefit of convenience to your advantage.

  • Limitless

Redactable is a cloud-based solution. It allows unlimited redactions for unlimited volumes of documents with unlimited volumes of pages. Isn’t that interesting?

Also, it allows unlimited users to collaborate on a single project or group of projects, increasing productivity. Invite your team members and collaborate on the cloud.

  • Security

Redactable removes your sensitive data instantly and permanently using the underlying pattern-matching technology, leaving no trace of sensitive data for hackers to get through. 

Again, Redactable provides redaction certificates, making it easy to account for redaction activities by tracing through the time stamps.

  • Permeance:

Do you know that search engines can see partially redacted data? Redactable leaves no traces of redacted data, making it safe on the internet.

  • Trust 

Redactable is trusted by thousands of people, including Tampa Bay Wave and Chisos.

How Do You Redact with Redactable?

In 4 easy steps! All you need to do is:

  • Upload your document
  • Let Redactable’s wizard do the magic of identifying sensitive data 
  • Remove the identified data
  • Download your redacted document

Did you know it takes the average user 15 seconds only to redact a one-page document with Redactable? That translates to 2.5 minutes for a ten-page document!

Start your Free Trial today and witness the magic.

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