There’s a new sheriff in townSheriff Bart
Does this sound familiar to you? You are asked to help with a problem, maybe a really big problem. So, you hop on your horse, ride into town, expecting to make life better for everyone when you get to work. But instead of a warm welcome you are met with resentment and hostility?
Well, you are not alone. No matter how expensive, risky or inefficient the way you do things today may be, there always seems to be someone who wants to keep things just as they are because it’s what they know
This is especially true when it comes to using PII in non-production systems. There are many reasons why you may want to do this. Three obvious ones are: ease of access, robustness of the data and saving time.
Unfortunately, the dangers of using production data for testing, user training, or any other non-production use can have significant downstream costs or may even be illegal.
Can I get an Harumph?
That is why people turn to Data Masking. Do a quick search on ‘Data Masking’ and you’ll see it’s nothing new. It has been around for a long time. Look a little deeper and you will see these choices are pretty much all the same. Well, like Sheriff Bart said, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s first quickly cover your needs for data masking. Some questions you may ask yourself probably include:
- Can I have identical masked values across every system, and can I change them all anytime I want?
- Am I masking at the source, in transit, or at the front-end?
- What is it going to take to implement and maintain my masking solution?
Great list but here’s another one you may not have on your list:
4. Can I use the same solution to mask data in non-production as I do to anonymize production data and prevent re-identification in all my analytics?
You may be surprised to learn the answer to the fourth question is yes. This is because PII Vault™ from Anonomatic utilizes its patented Poly-Anonymization and Data Sundering technologies to provide a uniquely capable data masking solution we call Poly-Pseudonyms.
Poly-pseudonyms give you the control over what fields you want to mask, whether you want to directly update your non-production databases with masked data or mask the data in transit. You can even have consistent pseudonym values across any number of systems or change the pseudonyms as often as you like.
Like all the features of PII Vault, the Poly-Pseudonym (data masking) capability is quick, cheap, and easy. You can implement Poly-Pseudonyms with simple web services calls or you can use our console application to automatically mask all the private information in all your non-production databases. Because pseudonyms are part of the PII Vault, you can use the same product to anonymize data at the source, join any number of fully anonymized datasets at the individual level and prevent the re-identification of small population demographic groups. Even better, with PII Vault™ you will soon be able to completely remove all PII from your production systems and not lose a single piece of functionality.
Imagine that… Just take a second and think about how much easier life would be if you never had to worry about any PII in any non-production or production systems.
Sound intriguing? Try us for free.