BizDataX - a Regional Leader in Database Anonymization

BizDataX - a Regional Leader in Database Anonymization
Dražen Tomić

New GDPR regulations of the European Union on the protection of personal data was the topic of our interview with the Ekobit Co-Founder and Member of the Board Vedran Brničević. He also explained what will it bring for the companies and citizens. He told that with BizDataX, data anonymization and a test data management solution, companies can do their business according to GDPR. He pointed out that during the export of sensitive production data, BizDataX anonymizes them while sensitive data is replaced with data that is not real, but is realistic.

How is BizDataX helping organizations to protect data and to maintain compliancy with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other industry data privacy laws?
BizDataX is a data anonymization and a test data management solution. It enables organizations to use production databases for the purpose of testing applications, but also for other processes like BI, marketing or sales. When exporting sensitive production data, BizDataX anonymizes data by replacing sensitive data with the data that is not real, but realistic (enough). Anonymized data cannot be used to identify a particular person or business entity so it is not classified anymore as being sensitive and does not need to be processed as required by the data privacy laws. On the other hand, this data is fit for purpose.
BizDataX helps organization to significantly narrow the potential data breach attack surface by transforming sensitive in non-sensitive data in testing, development, BI and other non-production environments.

Are organizations aware of the fact that using sensitive data for other purposes without the consent of the user is a violation of the GDPR and other data privacy laws?
There are commercial researches in place stating that 38% of large organization in EU and the USA allow testing and development teams to access production databases. According to my experience, working with West and East European customers, that percentage is higher. Even worse is the fact that accountable persons in these organizations do not comprehend the potential danger of exposing sensitive data in such way.

Do you expect that new data privacy regulation, the GDPR, will change this perspective? 
Absolutely. If organizations, especially medium and the large ones, want to comply with GDPR, they will need to make additional effort in protecting data privacy on all levels. If they suffer a data breach attack and an investigation shows negligence in protecting data privacy, they will be confronted with huge GDPR defined penalties reaching up to 4% of turnover or 20 Mio EUR (whichever is higher). Separating production from non-production environments is part of the key measures organization will have to undertake to avoid data breach and regulatory penalties.

Was the year 2016 successful for the BizDataX team? 
We had indeed a successful and exciting year that resulted in a number of new clients and two important versions. In Germany we successfully completed a test data management project for a large parcel service company. This reference was very important for us to accelerate business development on the German market. Project was such a success, that the client implemented a number of data anonymization projects using BizDataX without contacting our support services for months! Besides licenses, we delivered trainings for their technical staff so they could implement BizDataX projects all by themselves. We are also close to successful completion of complex projects for two large financial institutions in Croatia and Slovenia. There were a number of smaller projects going on this year but we were very focused on implementing new BizDataX features. New and improved data anonymization features, Smart Data Subsetting, significant performance improvements are at the core of this year’s two releases. Smart Data Subsetting is especially in the clients’ focus because it does not only enable data anonymization but also lowers the cost of storage, processing power and infrastructure needed in testing environments..

What is your position on the local and EU market in the data anonymization niche? 
BizDataX is the only data anonymization and test data management solution developed in Croatia. It is actually the only such solution in the region. Accordingly, Ekobit is the only company that deals with data anonymization projects for years now and we are the only ones with necessary project experience and knowledge to implement even the most complex data anonymization projects. Our competitive advantage on the European and the global market is the unparalleled flexibility of BizDataX that can easily adapt to all data anonymization projects complexity levels and outstanding price performance ratio. On the other hand we need to be more aggressive in terms of sales and marketing on some key markets.

What are your goals in short/mid-term? 
BizDataX provides organization with clear business benefits regarding the sensitive data protection and efficient test data management. Due to the fact that GDPR relates not only to EU located organizations but to all organizations worldwide that manage clients with the seat in EU, we expect that the market for solutions like BizDataX will grow significantly in the forthcoming years. We expect this grow to be seen in both Croatia and in the region and are confident to stay at the leading position in data anonymization projects. We will at the same time invest more effort to widen our client base in EU which we consider as our key market. There are already BizDataX partners in Germany and Switzerland, and there are a plenty of opportunities for partnership in other European countries. The US market has the highest potential for solutions like BizDataX and we will actively search for partners on North American market as well. Our vision is to offer a full-fledged data anonymization and test data management solution to organizations worldwide. Appearing on the Gartner’s 'Data Masking Magic Quadrant' report is one of our mid-term goals.