You know it by many names – data anonymization, obfuscation, or pseudonymization, but what data masking essentially does is reduce the unnecessary spread and exposure of sensitive data within an organization—protecting it while simultaneously maintaining its usability.
Not sure if Data Masking is for your organization? Consider this, as much as 80% of sensitive data resides in environments used for development, testing, and reporting. That is a lot of data that is ripe for exposure., and waiting for the right moment to find out, could cost you. The technology experts at Opteamix are adept at helping our clients understand why and what, and more importantly how they need to protect their sensitive data from prying eyes.
Download our whitepaper ‘Data Masking Strategies‘ that will give you a window seat to our methods and how we provide our customers with a working data masking solution while helping them establish knowledge and confidence in their data protection strategy.
This whitepaper uncovers the types, techniques, strategies, and use cases of custom implementations that will help you understand the enterprise potential of data masking to protect sensitive data, including (but not limited to):
- Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
- Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Payment card information
- Intellectual property
Given the high priority need for organizations to protect their sensitive data, here are three top reasons why you should include data masking in your broader data security strategy.
Non-production data protection
For many organizations, it’s often necessary to make copies of production data for non-production use such as application development and testing, staff training, business analytics modeling, etc. If left unprotected, production data in non-production environments might be accessed by contractors or offshore workers, and possibly moved across locations via the cloud or removable media.
While enabling the safe sharing/copying/use of sensitive data, masking lets you protect those data sets and meet compliance requirements without hampering your business operations.
Protect against insider threats
Employees such as developers, trainers, business analysts who are already inside perimeter defenses have a legitimate need to access data but may not need access to real production data. A 2013 study from the Open Security Foundation found that while insiders accounted for 19.5% of incidents, they were responsible for 66.77% of the exposed data.
By masking sensitive production data, organizations liberate the data employees need to get their jobs done while reducing the risk of a data breach from a malicious, careless, or compromised insiders.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) put in place in 2018 as a result of costly data breaches, was intended to strengthen and unify personal data protection. GDPR requires that organizations practice data minimization, which is that they collect and use data limited to what is necessary for a specific purpose, retain it no longer than necessary and not make it available to an indefinite number of people.
The penalties for non-compliance can include – A fine up to 20,000,000 EUR or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year for enterprises, whichever is greater. By replacing sensitive data with realistic, fictitious data, data masking solutions help organizations comply with key GDPR requirements.
Learn all this and more in our whitepaper ‘Data Masking Strategy‘, or get in touch with us to understand which of our custom implementation options best meets your organization’s data protection needs. You can also visit our IT Operations service offerings if further streamlining your IT operations is a priority.