To first of all know about data masking, click here;

For Legal Requirements

The regulatory environment surrounding the duties and obligations of any person holding certain data to safeguard the information they are required to maintain are rapidly becoming more rigorous in almost every legal jurisdiction. It is usually an assumption that the standards for the security and maintenance of data will become increasingly strict in the near future.

To Prevent The Loss of Confidence And Public Relations Disasters

It is often said that in most locations, if a data loss occurs at your organization, then you will face more than the formal legal sanctions instituted by governmental bodies. Actually, when this happens, it may not even be the biggest of your immediate worries. Improper data exposure, whether consciously or unwillingly, can have overwhelming consequences. More often than not, costs of such an event, both actual and un-quantifiable can far exceed any fines levied for the violation of the rules. For instance, what would it cost the organization if say potential customers are not willing to give crucial information to your company because they came across an article about a data escape in the Daily. Handling public relations in the aftermath of seeing the company’s already tarnished name in the press may be of little hep and a little more expensive. It also does not take much imagination to realize that senior management are not going to be happy about having to give a press conference to reassure the public. Costs of Public relations of a data slip usually far exceed the sanctions levied by governmental organizations

To Avoid Malicious Exposure

Many people often think that the major risk to the information they hold is external units (and organized syndicates) out to break in and pinch the data. The corresponding assumption then follows that protecting the network and firewalls is the appropriate and sufficient response. There is no denying that such protection is necessary, however, it has been pointed out that in many cases the data is pinched by malicious wolves in sheep’s skin who have been granted access to the data. Remember no firewall can keep an insider from acquiring data under such circumstances. Nevertheless, by reducing the number of databases with unmasked information, the overall risk of exposure is diminished. If external hackers happen to get through the network security, will have far fewer useable targets and even a far greater proportion of the inside personnel will have no access to the real data.

To Avoid Accidental Exposure

More often than not, the risk of accidental exposure of information is neglected when considering the security risks associated with real test data. It frequently thought that there is no point in masking the test data since everybody has access to production anyway. This is never the case; the risks associated with an accidental exposure of the data remain the same if not gross. Often, just masking the most sensitive information like credit card numbers, customer email addresses etc is enough to somewhat ease the damage associated with accidental exposure and the masked databases remain just as functional as before.

Also read on Why You Need To Protect Your Database, Most Common Database Security Threats

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