Data breaches in some shape or fashion are almost an everyday occurrence. And the private and public sectors alike are being targeted. While there is no magic bullet to prevent these breaches, data masking can often go a long way to minimizing the impact of a data compromise. Data masking or data obfuscation is the process of hiding original data with random characters or data. In today’s connected world, PII (Personal Identification Information) type data — used for development, testing, business intelligence analytics, and training — needs to be masked. The safeguarding of such sensitive data is also mandated by regulations, such as PCI, HIPAA, DSS, SOX, and GDPR.
With the explosion of Big Data initiatives, businesses and municipalities are increasingly requiring their analysts to mine the most current data. As developers, testers, and trainers increasingly need up-to-date data to be successful, stale data no longer suffices. But how do organizations keep their data fresh when data volumes are growing exponentially and their data sources are increasingly heterogeneous, distributed and cloud hosted? In addition to their cost and complexity, ETL tools are I/O-bound and can’t keep up with large data volumes. “Fast” load utilities from the database vendors offer better performance, but they don’t work heterogeneously or to the cloud.
Well, Cirro now has the answer with its inaugural release of Data Migrator! Cirro Data Migrator enables repetitive, periodic instantiation of test and development environments at a very high speed, and simultaneously can mask or replace sensitive information with seemingly real data; thereby facilitating realistic testing, development, and testing of applications while ensuring the data being used in non-production environments fully complies with regulatory requirements. Cirro is capable of masking data between homogeneous and heterogeneous databases alike, peer-to-peer data unload and load.
Some of Cirro’s data masking advantages:
- Data is masked on the fly, as it’s moved from production to test and QA databases, so database administrators can test upgrades and fixes.
- Cirro masks data inflight from production to development databases. Application developers can then develop and test application code using data that most closely mimics production data, thereby ensuring that new functionality does not introduce data integrity issues and break production applications.
- To better understand customer behaviors and patterns, consumer businesses share their customer data with external marketing companies. Cirro masks data regardless of the source database platform and to whatever target database platform being used by the marketing firm(s) thereby eliminating needless delays in making timely data available.
- Healthcare organizations routinely share sensitive patient information with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. In these instances, Cirro can read data from multiple sources and consolidate the data to a single heterogeneous target, all the while masking the data.
With Cirro Data Migrator, data masking is as easy as writing a CREATE TABLE AS SELECT (CTAS) with the masking function applied to the desired column(s). Here are some of the examples:
CREATE TABLE ORA2."orcl".SALES.CCARDNUM_MASKED AS SELECT MASK_OUT(CARDNUM) CARDMASK, CARDCC, CARDEXP FROM ORA1."orcl".SALES.CREDITCARDNUML;
CREATE TABLE ORA2."orcl".SALES.CCARDNUM_MASKED AS SELECT MASK_RANDOM(CARDNUM) CARDMASK, CARDCC, CARDEXP FROM ORA1."orcl".SALES.CREDITCARDNUML;
CREATE TABLE ORA2."orcl".SALES.CCARDNUM_MASKED AS SELECT MASK_HASH(CARDNUM) CARDMASK, CARDCC, CARDEXP FROM ORA1."orcl".SALES.CREDITCARDNUML;