It may come as a surprise to many people that it is still common practice for companies to share their sensitive customer data in non-secure environments
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: DataVeil Technologies, a software company specializing in data masking technologies, released its DataVeil data masking software, offering both commercial and freeware solutions.
Although there are data privacy laws and regulations, it may come as a surprise to many people that it is still common practice for companies to share their sensitive customer data in non-secure environments such as in testing, development, training and to even provide it to third-parties such as foreign outsourcing companies.
According to a 2012 data breach study by the Ponemon Institute, it was found that all of the companies surveyed had at least one data breach involving consumer information. Where the cause of breach was identified, the most common were negligent or malicious insiders (50 percent) and outsourcing of data to third parties (19 percent).
The potential consequences for consumers are fraud, identity theft and privacy violations, and for companies it can mean the loss of customers, reputation as well as legal and financial liability. Clearly, securing sensitive data is essential.
DataVeil data masking software secures sensitive data by making it anonymous so that it can be safely used in non-secure environments. This means that sensitive information, such as personal details and account numbers, are replaced with fictitious but realistic information while other critical but non-sensitive characteristics of the data are preserved, such as the scale, scope and idiosyncrasies of production data relationships.
So why are so many companies risking the use of sensitive data in non-secure environments without taking precautions such as data masking? "We have found that many organizations have a perception that it is too difficult, too expensive or too time-consuming to mask their sensitive data", said Terry Swiatkiwsky, CEO of DataVeil Technologies. "Instead, they fundamentally rely on trust and the hope that nothing 'goes wrong'.
"That is why we are very excited to release our DataVeil data masking software - it has been specifically designed for ease-of-use, performance and flexibility. We are also offering fully-featured data masking freeware so that even smaller projects and organizations can benefit from this technology."