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How can I find sensitive personal information stored in computer files

Posted on 2014-09-23
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Last Modified: 2014-09-24
Hi & thank you in advance,

Is there a software scanner that I can use to scan computers for sensitive information (social security numbers, credit card numbers, family information) stored in text, word, excel etc data files.  I looked into DLP but the company cannot afford to purchase.

I am open to suggestions.
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Question by:cesemj
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Assisted Solution

by:Phillip Burton
Phillip Burton earned 400 total points
ID: 40338578
You could use X1 Search 8 to look inside files - http://www.x1.com/products/x1_search/

If you want a catalog of your hard drive in Excel, with document properties, then you could use Filecats Professional - http://www.filecats.co.uk
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btan earned 1000 total points
ID: 40339030
You may be interested in this
https://cuit.columbia.edu/cuit/it-security-resources/handling-personally-identifying-information/pii-scanning-software

CUSpider scans a computer for Social Security Numbers, produces a list of files, and provides options for you to take immediate actions for remediation.

Spider can be used to scan a computer for Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information. Spider produces a list of files which appear to contain this information, and provides options for you to take immediate actions for remediation.

OpenDLP is another open-source alternative, though more strongly geared towards a centrally managed, server-client envrionment. It can push out scans over network shares and to any Windows Domain connected computer, even without a pre-installed client agent.

Identity finder is an enterprise level PII scanning application and DLP manager.
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Author Comment

by:cesemj
ID: 40339183
Thank you both, I will send an update this evening.
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Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 40339416
kindly do note the usage and license where applicable from the source in the use case.

Also there is another software program that allows users to quickly scan their computers for sensitive numbers. But this tool does not guarantee your computer is free of social security and credit card numbers. It simply reports files that contain numbers which look like they could pose a security threat.
http://www.utexas.edu/its/products/senf/
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Assisted Solution

by:Travis Martinez
Travis Martinez earned 400 total points
ID: 40340771
Personally...  Forensic analysis tools are what I've leveraged for this type of scan.  Each silo/vendor has a specific niche.  Some have to have physical possession and the scans are intrusive.  Others, will reach out across the network and do it under the radar and quiet.

Here's a list of document tools:

http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/Tools:Document_Metadata_Extraction

Here's one specific to files and network access and fairly reasonable considering the offering:

http://www.fid3.com/fi-file-find-features

Sourceforge has Autopsy and a few others.  Sounds like you'll want something with a bit more meat to it and for $300 the FI File Find is a decent value.

Thanks,

Safety First!
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Author Comment

by:cesemj
ID: 40342268
Thank you all again, I am looking at the products and will update his evening.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 200 total points
ID: 40343077
OpenDLP can do a good job, it's not the very best, but for free it's awesome: https://code.google.com/p/opendlp/
-rich
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