Data masking

What does data masking mean?

Organizations never want to disclose highly confidential information into all users. All sensitive data will be restricted to access in all environments other than production. The process of masking/hiding/encrypting sensitive data is called data masking.

Data masking Techniques:
Below are few usual ways or techniques of doing data masking,
  1. Replacing subset of data with dummy characters (ex: aaa)
  2. Replacing subset of data with dummy numbers (ex: 1111)
  3. Replacing subset of data with dummy random numbers (ex: 1576)
  4. Replacing subset of data with dummy special characters (ex: xxx)
  5. Shuffling the characters or numbers
The masking will be achieved by using data masking tools or SQL functions based on requirement and data integration process.
Below are few organizations which would provide data masking feature,
  1. Informatica
  2. IBM
  3. Oracle
  4. Camouflage software
Normally the data format needs to be maintained to validate the data consistency and integrity Sometimes it might require unmasking the data to enable in production or for defect analysis. In that case, the mapping of masked data and original data will be stored in a flat file or table, so that we can perform unmasking.
The example attributes which would require masking,
            Email id, SSN, Account detail, Credit card number, mobile number and address etc.
Example for masking process,
Email id before masking –

Email id after masking –