Redgate believes that Gartner’s latest – and timely – Market Guide for Data Masking provides a valuable insight into the increasing need for, and adoption of, data masking by companies to address threats and compliance requirements. It recommends companies “review your data security and compliance roadmap. Focus on vendors that offer more than one type of DM technology and support consistent policies across your DM scenarios, applications and platforms.” Redgate is listed as a data masking technology Representative Vendor.
Published on 20 July 2018, the Market Guide predicts global enterprise use of data masking or similar de-identification techniques will increase from 15% in 2017 to 40% by 2021.
Redgate feels that, driven by increasing privacy regulations, the growth in data, and the expanding use of analytics to extract more value from data, data masking is becoming a key way for companies to meet compliance requirements, and address insider and outsider threats.
Data masking is needed because many companies use copies of their production databases in their development, testing and business analytics environments. Sensitive data in those databases, however, has to be protected by replacing it with fictitious data. That data in turn has to be realistic and truly representative of the original data in order to retain its referential integrity and distribution characteristics.
Using random data will not work, which is where third party tools like Redgate Data Masker come in. They provide multiple methods to sanitize data in SQL Server and Oracle databases, use templates to remain consistent with existing data formats, and include replacement data sets such as names, zip codes and email addresses.
Steve Jones, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, is not surprised. “Big enterprises, particularly in the financial sector, have been using bespoke data masking solutions for a long time, but the cost was a barrier for smaller players. We’re now seeing products like Redgate Data Masker give every business the same advantages out of the box. They can continue to make the most of the data they have while remaining compliant with regulations like SOX, HIPAA and the GDPR.”
Gartner’s Market Guide also recommends data masking solutions should provide tools to manage the full life cycle of masking data: deploying masking rules, scheduling or triggering a masking job, and monitoring the performance of static and dynamic data masking operations. It recommends that security and risk management leaders responsible for data security and compliance should “take advantage of innovative data-masking products at the data virtualization or application tier.”
In February 2018, combined Data Masker with its SQL Clone tool, which uses the standard disk virtualization technologies built into the Windows operating system to create copies of databases in seconds. The copies, which are only around 40MB in size for a 1TB database, work just like normal databases and can be connected to and edited using any program.
The SQL Provision solution that was created provides a single central management system for provisioning masked database copies with a process that is simple, repeatable, transparent, and auditable.
“This is the way many companies will go,” concludes Steve Jones. “They need to provision masked copies of production databases for development, and by making it fast and secure, they can comply with privacy regulations, yet still get lots of value from their data.”
A complimentary copy of the Gartner Market Guide, together with further information about Redgate Data Masker, SQL Clone and SQL Provision can be accessed from the Redgate website.
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