What is Data Masking?

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When was the most recent time that you heard about some sort of cyber security breach affecting a Fortune 500 company? Criminal charges have been brought as a result of the hacking of over 500 million Yahoo accounts. In addition, American Express had to embarrassingly notify their clients that their information may have been compromised. Then we heard about the infamous Ransomware attack, which affected data security in government agencies, hospitals, and private businesses worldwide.

This is why, despite the traditional ways to protect your business data, you need to take additional steps to cover all your bases. This is where data masking comes in.

What is data masking, and how does it work?

Every business has sensitive information. They could be trade secrets, a secret recipe, or employees’ social security numbers. Either way, your company has a duty to protect it. Data masking allows you to redact sensitive information. It’s a useful tool for when your employees do not need to have access to all of your business data, but do need to be able to see it partially. For example, employees at a credit card call or bank call center only need to see the last four digits of a client’s account.

Is it any different from encrypting information?

With encryption, information is completely scrambled and illegible to anyone who sees it. However, the intended recipient would be able to unscramble the information once it is received, by entering a key code.

On the other hand, once data has been masked, it cannot be unmasked by the recipient. Being able to do so would defeat the purpose of data masking. Going back to the call center example, obscuring a customer’s credit card number would be pointless if the employee could restore it to its original version. So if you intend the your recipient of your message to only have partial access to the information, data masking is the perfect solution.

When it comes to business security, there are many nuances that only experienced IT engineers can explain to you in detail. For any business security issues you may have, Source 1 Solutions has experts ready to assist you. Contact us with your questions, and we’ll provide you with solutions.


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