The peace that comes with protecting sensitive information from theft and unauthorized access is the most sought after by organizations. Data masking comes in handy to solve this problem.It entails creating structurally similar but authentic version of an organization’s data, that can be used for the purpose of software testing and user training. Data masking aims at protecting actual data, while having functional substitutes for occasions when real data is not in use. Data masking maintains the data format while changing the values only.

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What Tips Should Organizations Consider In Data Masking?

Assess The Project Scope

There is more to data masking than mere encryption.Organizational information must be in a format that provides valid information that is free from plagiarism. Hence companies need to clearly figure out what information out to be protected, who is permitted to see the Information, which applications are compatible with the data. After a proper research has been conducted and all the relevant information gathered, a legal department should be engaged in determining the information to be masked.

Pick The Features To Be Applied 

Data masking has many data manipulation capabilities. However not all can apply in the varying business information. Depending on the desired outcome and the nature of the information, different capabilities could be applied. They include.

  • Blurring; Adding random variance to the original features of the data.
  • Nulling; Replacing a value with null symbols.
  • Tokenization; Is where an algorithm used to mask the data is maintained so that the information can be restored later to its original value.
  • Shuffling; Rearranging the order of values.
  • Non- determinist randomization; Replacing a sensitive field with randomly generated value subject.

 

Organizations should pick the best data masking techniques, so as to meet its desired expectations.

Securing the data masking operation

Large companies cannot have a single data masking tool throughout. This is due to the differing security and business requirements.However,  the data masking techniques must be synched up to avoid making the work flow difficult. The security administrators execute the data making process to secure the sensitive data during trials.As soon as the process is complete and verified, the Database Administrator hands over environment to the application testers.

Testing the data masking application

It’s one of the most challenging and time consuming bit, but very critical in the success of the project. When the DBA hands the information to the application testers, they execute the process to test whether the resulting masked data can be turned to other non-production users.

If the masking needs to be pimped further, the DBA restores the data into pre-masked state, fixes the masking seed value and re-executes the masking process.

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