Data masking hides the original data with different or fake information instead. The goal is to keep the original data safe, especially if it is classified as top secret or highly sensitive. At the same time, we want to make sure that this data can still be used for future test cycles.
By designing and coding your security with dynamic data masking or DDM, you can limit the exposure of sensitive data to non-privileged users. DDM does this by masking the data to prevent unauthorized access to it. You specify the extent of sensitive data to be revealed while ensuring minimal impact on your application layer. Lastly, you configure it on a database field to conceal the information you want to be hidden from view.
DDM doesn't modify any data in your database and is easy to use with existing applications. Since masking rules are applied to query results, many apps can mask sensitive information without having to change their existing queries.
That said, while dynamic data masking limits the exposure of your sensitive data, it won’t prevent database users from connecting to a database and running multiple queries to expose that information. With this in mind, you still need to use other security measures like encryption and auditing for enhanced protection.
Where is it available?
DDM is a standard feature in Azure SQL and SQL Server 2016 (13.x) and configurable with Transact-SQL commands. For a more versatile platform, consider a web-based database client tool that lets you perform it from any device with point-and-click simplicity and an intuitive interface. That way, you can save time and eliminate the need to create a separate database.
Benefits for your organization
Effective dynamic data masking lets you acquire GDPR data protection. It hides data upon request, and the information does not have to separate from your database. Masking tools proxy inbound and outbound queries, so if anyone wants to view sensitive information in one of your rules, the database client will show the masked version to them. It’s good practice to prevent accidental data leaks and deliberate breaching, making it essential when your organization works with third-party companies like developers and testers.