Take the strain out of Data Masking

15th June 2018Blog

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In this blog, we explain how using automated data pseudonymisation or masking technologies can save significant time and effort for IT personnel, in addition to helping the entire organisation remain compliant with the GDPR.  Northdoor offers a complete range of automated solutions for accelerating, simplifying and removing cost from data masking.

Improve your control over masked data

With the GDPR in force, companies across all industries are governed by more stringent controls around storing, managing and using personal data. Whether it’s managing Subject Access Requests or masking personal data for use in other systems, the burden of actually dealing with the GDPR tends to fall most heavily on the IT function. IT is now expected not only to keep key systems in perfect working order, but also to act as the gatekeeper for personal data.

If managing requests to mask personal data are already taking up more of your time, or you’re concerned that this may be the case in the future, you should consider automation solutions. These solutions can save time and effort for technical specialists, freeing them up for core activities while also improving your control and visibility over data masking. In a nutshell, you can make your life easier and at the same time enhance the service you offer to the business.

two men looking at a screen

A major focal point for data masking is in the development and testing of new software. Here, the preference of developers is always to use data that is as close as possible to the real thing, in order to confirm that the new code will perform as expected. Creating this fictitious or masked data can be a major drain on time and resources, particularly when there are numerous sources of data spread across multiple systems. And with the GDPR’s emphasis on managing any data that could potentially be used to identify a natural person, existing manual processes for masking data may not be fully compliant.

In light of growing pressure on time-to-market for new or updated applications, most organisations would benefit significantly from the automated creation of realistic masked data. Equally, speed and quality in data masking are critically important when sharing data with external partners – for example, during the design and testing of promotional mailshots.

At the same time, internal requirements such as setting up training systems for new staff should not be overlooked. If the standard approach is to use a subset of historical data to populate training systems, this contributes to the risk of having multiple copies of potentially non-compliant data lurking in unknown places on the corporate network.

By deploying automated solutions for discovering, categorising, and masking data, companies can take back control, improve the auditability of GDPR processes and save time for the IT team. The solutions deployed by Northdoor mask data with accuracy and context-sensitivity, such that its integrity is preserved, with masked elements propagated consistently across applications to generate valid results. So not only do you relieve the pressure on overworked IT staff, but you also improve the quality of testing and training data.

To find out more about how Northdoor can help you save time and effort in data masking – while boosting GDPR compliance, contact us for more information.

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