Data Masking

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What Does Data Masking Mean?

Data masking refers to the process of changing certain data elements within a data store so that the structure remains similar while the information itself is changed to protect sensitive information. Data masking ensures that sensitive customer information is unavailable beyond the permitted production environment. This is especially common when it comes to situations like user training and software testing.

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Techopedia Explains Data Masking

Automated development and testing methods cut down direct exposure to sensitive data. Even so, there are many situations where data is required. Take for, example, a bank that has outsourced some development to foreign companies. It is often illegal for customer information to leave the bank, never mind the country in which the bank is regulated. By using a technique like data masking, the offshored development firm can test the software with data that is similar to what would be experienced in the live production environment.

Potent data masking necessitates the modification of data so that the original values are not re-engineered or identified. Data could be encrypted and decrypted, relational integrity is sustained, safety polices can be proved, and separation of duties between administration and security can be started.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.