8 Tools to Protect Sensitive Data from Unintended Leakage 8 Tools to Protect Sensitive Data from Unintended Leakage
In today’s digitally vast and linked world, the amount of data we create, store, and share is huge. Even though we’ve... 8 Tools to Protect Sensitive Data from Unintended Leakage

In today’s digitally vast and linked world, the amount of data we create, store, and share is huge. Even though we’ve come a long way in protecting data, one sneaky threat that often goes unnoticed is private data being leaked into source code. This low-key but serious problem can cause significant harm to businesses.

Today organizations use all kinds of different Git tools to make it easier for developers to work together on code and speed up the development process. But when developers are in a rush to push changes to the code, they often do something that seems safe but is actually very risky – they hardcode sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and API keys straight into the code. This method may not lead to instant issues or concerns, as long as the code repository remains private. 

However, serious danger is imminent when repositories change from private to public access for a variety of reasons. This change can unintendedly cause private information to become public, and the leak can put the entire organization and its data at huge risk. Fortunately, there are tools that can be used to protect private information from being made public accidentally.

Tools to Detect Sensitive Data in Source Code

In order to protect themselves from unintended leakage of sensitive information, organizations employ a variety of tools that scan repositories and code continuously to identify the secrets that are hard-coded within. Let’s delve into these tools and their offerings in detail.

Piiano Flows

8 Tools to Protect Sensitive Data from Unintended LeakagePiiano Flows is a privacy code scanner and a powerful tool for detection. It examines the code and identifies different types of issues, and provides a free code audit. The tool takes a different approach to secret scanning as it doesn’t track the secrets within the source code, but the data flows that expose data. It is easy to integrate within GitHub repositories, with just a simple sign-in required.

With Piiano Flows, you can have visibility into the data flow in terms of how the data is not only received and shared, but also stored and leaked. It provides scanning on a daily basis, and gives results in a report format to see everything in a concise and clear way. It detects logging APIs and brings them to your attention, revealing the entire journey of leaked data. Piiano Flows focuses on PII and other sensitive fields used within the code and uses AI and ML to provide full and greater coverage.


GitGuardian is a strong tool that maintains the safety of software development by keeping confidential data in code repositories. This tool protects API keys, passwords, and other private data from people who shouldn’t have access to them, secrets that are made public or committed within the files, and cyberattacks. GitGurdian scans repositories to find possible secrets using regex as well as machine learning techniques.

With GitGuardian’s real-time alerts, developers are immediately notified when a new secret is found, which lets security problems be fixed quickly. Additionally, it works well with well-known version control systems like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, making it easier to keep an eye on code files. By finding and managing secrets that could lead to legal violations, the tool also helps keep companies in line with industry standards. GitGuardian customers can also change its features to fit their own security needs.


8 Tools to Protect Sensitive Data from Unintended Leakage

StackHawk provides a sophisticated tool for DAST scanning as well as detecting secrets like API keys, passwords, and other sensitive information in the context of application security. This tool is designed to assist development and DevOps teams in the detection and mitigation of security vulnerabilities, with a focus on detecting sensitive secrets and vital credentials that may be exposed inadvertently.

The easy integration of StackHawk’s secret scanning tool into development pipelines, including CI/CD procedures, is one of its primary benefits. As part of the development and deployment workflow, it automatically scans web applications for secret-related vulnerabilities, ensuring that security checks are a key element of the software development lifecycle. The tool generates thorough and actionable reports on detected vulnerabilities. It gives remediation and assistance, allowing development teams to prioritize and address security issues more efficiently.


GitLeaks is an open-source cybersecurity tool made to find and prevent the unintentional disclosure of sensitive information within code repositories, especially in Git repositories. This program examines the code for specified patterns or regular expressions that could indicate the presence of confidential information like API keys, passwords, and other sensitive information. GitLeaks is well-known for its simplicity and effectiveness in assisting developers and organizations in maintaining improved security practices throughout the software development process.

Customizable scanning rules are one of GitLeaks’ important features since they enable users to create their own patterns or modify those that are already there to better suit their needs. When potential secrets are discovered in code, it instantly warns users and integrates neatly into Git workflows, allowing for quick mitigation of security threats. In order to help developers and security experts stop data leaks and breaches in code repositories, GitLeaks might be a useful addition to their toolkits.


TruffleHog is a well-known open-source security scanning tool made for detecting and protecting sensitive information or secrets in code repositories as well as in commit histories. It mainly focuses on Git repositories and scans for potential vulnerabilities by looking for high-entropy strings and patterns that can signal the presence of secrets like API keys, passwords, or other sensitive data. TruffleHog has a number of important capabilities, one of which is the capacity to conduct in-depth security scans on commit histories, branches, and entire repositories.

It offers opportunities for customization, allowing users to create unique regular expressions and procedures for discovering secrets that are tailored to the requirements of their company. Additionally, TruffleHog can be incorporated into CI/CD pipelines for automated scanning and offers a number of output formats. When sensitive information is found, the tool notifies the user or organization so that they can take prompt action to safeguard the exposed data.


GitHound is a powerful open-source security tool made specifically for GitHub repositories that focuses on finding potential security flaws and hidden information inside. Its main objective is to thoroughly scan the codebase with the objective of finding sensitive data like API keys, passwords, and other private information. GitHound can be customized by users to meet their specific organizational security needs. Users can provide their own patterns and rules for secret detection.

Additionally, this tool is designed to be integrated into a variety of development workflows, such as CI/CD pipelines, automating the security scanning procedure to guarantee that new code contributions are thoroughly screened for potential vulnerabilities. GitHound’s reporting tools produce in-depth analyses that pinpoint the exact locations of secrets inside the codebase, allowing for quick correction of exposed data. GitHound gives developers and security experts a complete understanding of potential security issues by providing a thorough analysis of the repository’s commit history, branches, and overall structure.


With Spectral, organizations can easily monitor and safeguard their code, assets, and infrastructure to identify exposed API keys, tokens, and credentials in a straightforward and noise-free manner. Many processes, such as pre-commit to Git or CI/CD integration, can be easily connected with Spectral. It also has the ability to search Git repositories for hidden secrets as well as configuration issues. It searches the codebase for logs, binaries, and other data that could be deemed a potential leak source.

Spectral has a real GUI interface, which makes it much more accessible and suitable for the majority of users. It also employs AI and machine learning techniques to ensure that detection rates rise and false positive rates fall over time as the system gathers and processes more data. Overall this tool can be an effective solution in detecting and remediating secrets, and that too in a more effective way.


Snyk focuses on locating and fixing vulnerabilities in open-source code, dependencies, and secrets. It works wonders for enhancing the safety of applications and initiatives. Dependency scanning is one of its unique capabilities. Snyk carefully checks a project’s dependencies to find known vulnerabilities in the libraries and packages it depends on. Additionally, Snyk offers continuous monitoring, ensuring that developers are immediately informed of any recently found vulnerabilities in their dependencies.

Along with problem identification, it provides developers with practical advice on how to mitigate vulnerabilities, including suggested patches or updates. Snyk seamlessly integrates into a variety of development platforms and tools, including CI/CD pipelines, GitHub, GitLab, and others, making security a crucial component of the development process. Since it supports a broad variety of programming languages and package managers, it is adaptable to many development stacks. It also boasts of significant language support.


The aforementioned security tools collectively form a formidable shield for the world of software development. Think of them as the guardians of your code’s secrets and gatekeepers against vulnerabilities. By embracing these tools, developers and organizations embark on a journey to not only secure their projects but also cultivate a culture of proactive security. These tools inject an element of trust and resilience into your digital creations, ultimately shaping the software landscape as a safer and more dependable domain for all.

About the Author –

Kruti Chapaneri is an aspiring software engineer and tech writer with a strong interest in the intersection of technology and business. She is excited to use her writing skills to help businesses grow and succeed online in the competitive market. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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