Data are the most important assets of companies today because it is through them that managers extract information about customers and the market in order to make the best decisions. Never before has there been an awareness that it is necessary and fundamental to protect information. Data masking is a technique that many companies are already using because it allows unauthorized data to remain secure and confidential. This tool is a growing need especially in the companies that generate a great volume of data (Big Data). Nowadays it is very important that companies protect their data in all stages of work, since the data is generated until the moment it is released. Data masking solutions allow data to be protected as long as they are being worked on in test environments until they are stored. Data masking creates a structurally identical version of the database, but it is exchanged for realistic but fictitious data. This makes the data protected and kept confidential. In today’s article, we’ll cover all the features that a data masking solution needs to have!
A data masking solution must be very flexible with regard to the execution criteria, because only in this way will be able to adapt to the reality and needs of each company. Each database has its own specifics, so the solution must be quite formable. The data masking solution must be prepared for the organization to define the criteria for executing the masking. If this doesn’t happen, the tool may prove to be useless to the organization that is using it.
The faster the data masking process, the greater the security that the solution confers on companies. The longer a real data gets exposed, the greater the likelihood of it being stolen. When the data is generated, they must be masked immediately. Sometimes a masking solution takes a few days before you can mask new data because they are dependent on scripting. It is crucial to keep this in mind when choosing a tool to mask your data. Previously, the work of data masking had to be developed manually, which consumed many resources and many hours of work. In addition, the likelihood of human error was very high. With software that does this work quickly, an entire system can be masked in just a few hours, as the runtime is greatly reduced. Thus, in addition to gaining advantages in terms of resource savings, there is also the advantage of ensuring that no errors occur and private data is not exposed.
The new data protection law (GDPR) obliges companies to pay particular attention to how they treat their customers’ data and in case of non-compliance the fines will be very high. Thus, data masking helps companies comply with the new law and is an essential tool to ensure that information is not lost. Under the new legislation, companies must ensure that highly sensitive data is masked so that there is no risk of being lost and the company falls victim to the hefty fines set out in the new regulation.
Masked data needs to be recognized at its destination, otherwise masking is completely useless. For example, masking a credit card number needs to create data that contains the same criteria as the actual card number, otherwise the destination applications cannot recognize that they are dealing with credit card numbers and the data loses its usefulness.
The main reason and one that should be the focus of your performance as a manager is the enhanced security of the data. With data masking you can use sensitive data in test environments and ensure that confidential information remains unabated. It is absolutely imperative that the data masking solution you choose protects your information at all stages of the masking. There are tools that leave the data exposed for a few seconds, and that little bit of time is more than enough for the data to be stolen, compromising the security of the infrastructure.