What is SQL Data Masking?

Structured Query Language (SQL) is programming language expressly designed for stream processing or data management purposes in relational database managenent system (RDBMS).


The purpose of data masking is to protect actual data, at the same time have a purposeful substitute data for incidences when real data isn’t a requirement. Organizations can limit the risk of data and information breach by implementing use of high performance MS SQL server data masking into their system. For instance GT Fast Data Masker is an SQL Data Masking tool which allows for quickly protection of data in agreement with protection legislation.

Data Masking MS SQL Server

Masking of data can easily be done by making changes in the sensitive and confidential info in the database such as SSN, Username, Password, et al. To be fast in this task, it is advisable to create a list of columns and tables which you want to mask then run the generic statement thus generating updated scripts on the table.

However, it is a hard task to update the value of the primary key since the foreign key references must also be updated. Follow these steps to update the primary key as well as the foreign keys:

  1. Add identity column to primary key table
  2. Check data type of the primary key (if it’s character, it will append ‘MASK’ to the value it’s updating)
  3. Drop all foreign keys
  4. All foreign keys have to be updated with the primary key table newly added identity columns value while referring the primary key value in primary key table
  5. Use the newly added identity column to update the primary key value
  6. Add all foreign keys dropped in step 3
  7. Drop the new identity column added in the primary key table added in step 1.

SQL Data Masking is applied to various data fields is to secure and protect the classified data as personal sensitive data, personal identifiable data or the commercially sensitive data. Nonetheless, that data has to remain usable so as to go through valid test cycles. Also, it has to look and appear real and consistent.

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