PII Shield: Demostack's latest tool makes masking sensitive data quick and effortless


Author: Barry Mueller
Last updated: Published:

Get the product into your customer’s hands faster. Deliver an immersive, tailored demo experience. Personalize as much of your demo as possible.

These are the driving factors to architect the story you want to tell through your demo and enable the buyer to make a decision in your favor. In all three pointers, you’ll find a common theme: personalization is king.

Sales teams understand that but adopt varying approaches to personalization; the most common being using realistic data. At its core, this is an effective approach, but it’s when they unknowingly include personally identifiable information (PII) that problems start.

Spoiler Alert: Having PII in demo stories can lead to severe ramifications and catastrophic fines.

What is PII?

Personally identifiable information, or PII, is any confidential information someone could use on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate individuals with or without consent. Common examples of PII include:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • IBAN
  • Credit card information

PII is often unknowingly left behind in a digital environment (in this case, your sales demo). As it's sensitive information, you need to take active measures to protect or “mask” it. In other words, figure out a way to deliver personalized demos in the current privacy-forward landscape.

Why having PII in your sales demo is not good

Why all the fuss about not having PII in your sales demo? To stay compliant and be professional.

Organizations must be in compliance with consumer privacy regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy mandates that require certain information, like the PII of their employees, customers, and third-party vendors to be protected.

It’s a legal obligation that extends to sales assets, even the sales demo.

If you don’t take this seriously, you’ll find yourself paying seriously hefty fines. We’re talking 4% of your annual global revenue, sometimes even millions.

Besides legal reasons, PII in demo stories is also unprofessional.

Picture this: you're demoing out of production, and showing your own sensitive data. For instance, you're showcasing your CRM and accidentally show the prospect you're presenting to as an active opportunity in your pipeline with a value attached of how much you think the deal is worth.

Unfortunately, your prospect grew uncomfortable seeing that and ends the conversation.

Therefore, it's just safer to avoid having PII in your sales demo.

How do organizations deal with PII in their demo process today

The lack of awareness isn’t an issue. Many companies understand the importance of avoiding PII in the demo process, but how they respond to it varies.

Some SDRs and AEs ignore the problem and continue showing PII data from the production instance, hoping it won’t come back to bite them. Others build demo instances themselves and try adding their own dummy data.

The problem with using dummy data is it can get outdated quickly, feels disconnected from the prospect, making it harder to build and maintain the complete product.

There are also sales teams investing in a robust data platform that masks data for every environment and database. While this helps the company comply with the HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA regulations, it isn’t practical because of the (very) steep price tag.

So does this mean everything is doomed and there is nothing I can do about it?

Of course not. There is one solid solution that allows you to produce PII-free sales demos at scale and eliminates the need to invest in an additional robust data platform: Demostack’s PII Shield.

How PII Shield by Demostack helps streamline compliance for sales demos

At Demostack, we prioritize empowering AEs, SEs, and marketers to showcase product in the best light without a hassle. Our PII Shield supports this initiative by helping companies with sensitive data in their products.

At its core, PII Shield automates PII removal by scouring through your data to identify and mask any sensitive information. Use it to replace real data with the data you need to tell the story you want to tell at scale, without any manual effort.

No demo experience platform other than Demostack has the capabilities to mask PII data at such scale.

Our PII Shield uses a data masking technique called substitution to help you tell a better story. It lets you:

  • Mask PII with asterisks
  • Mask PII with fake data

Unlike expensive data platform products, Demostack’s onboarding to mask PII is quick and seamless. It lasts less than a week—sometimes less than a day—to help you get the product in your prospects' hands faster.

The entire process is done quickly and without hassle, so you can focus on more important tasks, like actually delivering a world-class sales presentation.

What’s more, Demostack is GDPR and HIPAA compliant, and has earned an unqualified SOC 2 certification from PWC, so you can rest easy knowing the highest precautions are already taken to protect your organization's and your clients’ data.

How Demostack PII Shield works

PII Shield sounds like magic. So how does it actually work?

To begin with, you must identify what PII format types you want to replace and with what data you want to replace them with. To reiterate, you do not need to identify each PII instance, just the PII format type. The tool will automatically identify your PII requests and then add the layer of rules to mask the sensitive data and streamline compliance.

For example, you can use PII Shield to find all the phone numbers in your demo instance and substitute them with a variety of area codes or from one specific area code.

Once the substitution process is complete, neither your prospects nor your employees can see the PII in your sales demo, even when creating a new clone.

Present PII-free sales demos with Demostack’s PII Shield

It's true that personalization helps you win more deals, but this ambition shouldn’t be at the cost of non-compliance.

With Demostack’s PII Shield, you can automate maintaining data integrity for both external use (prospects) and internal use (employees). Personalize your demo stories at scale to deliver optimal demo experiences without the hassle.

So go ahead, take the easy way out—and still win at it.

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