Why is Data Masking Important? How? Let me explain!

Why is Data Masking Important

With the growth of modern technology and improved software, data security has become a very important concern. Something that we can’t look away from at all now.

Right from using security programs to depending on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), we do everything in our ability to save our personal information.?

And out of the different strategies that we depend upon, data masking is one of the best tactics to save our personal data.?

How Let me explain!

Data making is essentially capable of reducing the unnecessary exposure of sensitive data within an organization.?

It technically replaces the real data with unreal features that look like real data as a disguise. The same could be used safely in different situations where access to actual data isn’t needed at all.

Data masking is able to protect a lot of forms of sensitive data and it especially includes:

  • Protected Health Information. (PHI)
  • Personal Identifiable Information. (PII)
  • Intellectual property.
  • Payment information.
  • Transactional information.

Apparently, data masking does ensure that only the people that are meant to see the data could see it. And that?s how it?s meant to be in the first place.

It?s often used to protect most kinds of data forms as we discussed above.?

The fundamental principle of data masking is that it keeps data formats unchanged while changing the values of the data. This, in turn, obfuscates the data.

Data masking can alter sensitive data that includes character or number substitution or the use of algorithms for the sake of generating random data that has the same properties as that of the original data in its original state.

Believe or not, data masking is actually essential. And some of the significant reasons to believe the same is:

Your data can’t be trusted with third parties

Your data is yours until it?s safe with you. And the moment you share it, it?s vulnerable.

Retail companies usually share customer data with marker researchers.

Sending personally identifiable data or protected health information to third-parties would not only put your data and privacy at risk, but there could be a breach of sensitive information.

The same could be misused as how it may run afoul of the compliance regulations governing all kinds of industries. In this case, data masking is the best strategy that could be a potential saviour of your data.

Sometimes, real data isn?t needed

A lot of organizations need data for building and testing all kinds of programs or functions along with testing necessary upgrades to the program.

If there are no data, it would be impossible to tell if a program is going to perform well or not.?

But at the same time, if the real data is allowed to be tested with these programs, it could open a portal of information gathering to a variety of users and employees that don’t require to access the data at all. This is a breach that’s not needed at all.

The data could also be stored in such places that could be accessible to hackers. As such, data masking comes into the picture for potentially saving all the data from being accessed than the sole owner who has the authorization to access it.

Safeguarding data from everybody

A variety of database security solutions make plenty of sense and among them, data masking is the main concern.

Data is the heart of an organization that could contain a lot of resources and sensitive information, both for hackers as well as employees that could potentially look for a profit on the black market.

Data masking is just one of the first steps that companies could willingly take for becoming a subject to class action lawsuits, negative press, or financial losses down the years.

Complying with GDPR

European Union (EU) passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that?s intended to strengthen the personal data protection and avoid breaches in personal data.

And talking about the penalties, there could be pretty strict as they include:

  • Written warning in primary cases of noncompliance.
  • A fine of up to 10,000,000 EUR or 2% of the entire annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year or whatever is greater among the two.
  • A fine of up to20,000,000 EUR or 4% of the entire annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year or whatever is greater among the two.

It introduces the concepts of pseudonymization and data minimization that protects the citizens? privacy rights and lets the owners use the collected data for all kinds of purposes.

Let’s face it – Data masking is important and there are a lot of reasons to implement it in your working environment to safeguard your data. Not only are you protecting vital information, but you are also saving your organization and businesses from falling.?