Research Publication

Understanding and Selecting Data Masking Solutions

By Adrian Lane

Understanding Data Masking

Understanding and Selecting Data Masking Solutions, our newest paper, covers use cases, features, and deployment models; it also outlines how masking technologies work. We started the research to understand big changes we saw happening with masking products, with many new customer inquires for use cases not traditionally associated with data masking. We wanted to discuss these changes and share what we see with the community. This work is the result of dozens of conversations with vendors, customers, and security professionals over the last 18 months, discussed openly on the blog during our development process.

Our goal has been to ensure the research addresses common questions from both technical and non-technical audiences. We did our best to cover the business applications of masking in a non-technical, jargon-free way. Not everyone who is interested in data security has a black belt in data management or security, so we geared the first third of the paper to problems you can reasonably expect to solve with masking technologies. Those of you interested in the nut and bolts need not fear – we drill into the myriad of technical variables later in the paper.

We hope you find it useful!

Very few data security technologies can simultaneously protect data while preserving its usefulness. Data is valuable because we use it to support business functions – its value is in use. The more places we can leverage data to make decisions the more valuable it is. But as we have seen over the last decade, data propagation carries serious risks. Credit card numbers, personal information, health care data, and good old-fashioned intellectual property are targets for attackers who steal and profit from other people’s information. To lessen the likelihood of theft, and reduce risks to the business, it’s important to eliminate both unwanted access and unnecessary copies of sensitive data. The challenge is how to accomplish these goals without disrupting business processes and applications. Data masking is a tool that helps you remove risk without breaking the business!

Finally, we’d like to thank our sponsors: IBM and Informatica!

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