"GT Datamaker is installed inside a major UK government department that cannot afford to be seen to flout the data protection laws. If you have similar concerns, you should contact Grid-Tools to find out more."
Bloor (Independent IT research analyst)
Most of you will have heard the horror stories of companies and organisations losing sensitive customer data. These breaches aren’t uncommon and companies risk serious financial penalties for failing to comply with industry regulations.
Although measures are put into place for ‘live’ or production environments, there are other risks that are only now being fully recognised. Testing and development projects commonly require copy of production data. Copies are used because they reflect how data is used in existing systems and some companies use multiple copies year in and year out. On each occasion, if the data is not de-identified, it poses a risk.
The safest course of action is to de-identify data even if it is only destined to be use in non-production environments. Using data masking, sensitive data - such as names, account information, medical details and so on, are obscured so they will be untraceable and unusable should they fall into the wrong hands.
With the right data masking tool, sensitive details will be obscured but the referential integrity - how the data interrelates with other data and systems - remains intact. This allows testing and development teams to carry out project work safely and efficiently.
Technically, what is data masking and how is it used? Data masking strategies and techniques will obscure or de-identify specific data within a database table or flat file ensuring data security is maintained and sensitive customer information is not leaked outside of authorized environments. The data masking algorithms are applied across multiple tables, applications and environments so referential and business integrity will always be maintained.
Other terms for "data masking" may include: data obfuscation, data scrambling, data anonymization and data cleansing.
"The data masking features of the Grid-Tools software removed headaches for us, as we can now easily demonstrate compliance with data protection rules."
Nigel Williams, Senior Systems Consultant, Watson Wyatt
Grid-Tools offers straightforward data masking solutions for all major database types, flat files and XML messages and offers two out-of-the box data masking solutions: Fast Data Masking™ for large databases such as Oracle, SQLServer and Teradata, and Simple Data Masking™ for universal data masking for small to large projects.
The Grid-Tools data masking software offers multiple architectures, allowing you to choose the method that suits your specific database and environments.
The ability to choose between methods or techniques offers the flexibility of basing your masking on specific projects or requirements.
Datamaker™ can also apply sophisticated database subsetting as part of the masking process, allowing you to shrink and mask your data in one go. The data masking design process also does not require access to production data. You can design your masks and then deploy them separately to your secure infrastructure. As part of the overall data masking strategy, Datamaker™ also allows you to create data where no data exists through an innovative data creation process. This process examines production characteristics and generates "production like" data, providing the most secure alternative to traditional methods.
Why not protect your valuable information assets with an internationally known data masking solution and best practice advice from the experts?
Most data masking vendors use a separate staging environment to mask or obfuscate records, as seen in the middle portion of the diagram below. Grid-Tools Datamaker™ can be set-up to mask data using multiple architectures including; staging, extract and mask, shadow tables and database views. As well as masking, Datamaker™ can use sophisticated subsetting techniques to "cleanly" extract and mask in one go, eliminating the staging process if you wish.
Demo/webinar recording - see how fast data masking can work for you! (recorded webinar, approx 25 minutes)
Learn more about the techniques Grid-Tools use to protect sensitive data records for testing and development (webinar, approx 25 minutes in length)