Dynamic Data Masking: It’s time to secure and transform your data

What is Dynamic Data Masking?

According to Microsoft Dynamic data masking helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data by enabling customers to designate how much of the sensitive data to reveal with minimal impact on the application layer. DDM can be configured on the database to hide sensitive data in the result sets of queries over designated database fields, while the data in the database is not changed. It does not encrypt the data, and a knowledgeable SQL user can defeat it.

In any case, it comes with a basic method to administer from the database, what information the different clients of a database application can and cannot see, making it a valuable tool for the developer. Having said the above Dynamic data masking needs a proper implementation. Let us look at how exactly the Dynamic data masking is implemented:

  • To implement DDM, you define masking rules on the columns that contain the data you want to protect. 
  • For each column, you add the MASKED WITH clause to the column definition, using the following syntax:

    MASKED WITH (FUNCTION = ‘<em><function></em>(<em><arguments></em>)’)

  • Dynamic data masking limits (DDM) sensitive data exposure by masking it to non-privileged users. It can be used to greatly simplify the design and coding of security in your application.
  • Dynamic data masking helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data by enabling customers to designate how much of the sensitive data to reveal with minimal impact on the application layer. This can be turned into the server as possible
  • DDM can be configured on the database to hide sensitive data in the result sets of queries over designated database fields, while the data in the database is not changed.
  • Dynamic data masking is easy to use with existing applications, since masking rules are applied in the query results.

To summarize, when it comes to sensitive fields in the database, a centralized data masking policy acts directly. Additionally, it assigns personal roles or users that do not have access to the sensitive data. DDM features full masking and partial masking functions, as well as a random mask for numeric data.

What makes Dynamic Data Masking Special?

As you can clearly see, the data masking practice is vital and can help address organization with data breaches. Here are some of the additional dynamic data masking benefits, which organizations need to look at:

  • Regulatory Compliance – A strong demand for applications to meet privacy standards recommended by regulating authorities.
  • Sensitive Data Protection – Protects against unauthorized access to sensitive data in the application, and against exposure to developers or DBAs who need access to the production database.
  • Agility and Transparency – Data is masked on the fly, with underlying data in the database remaining intact. Transparent to the application and applied according to user privilege.

As you can clearly see above Dynamic Data Masking has number of benefits for organizations. Similarly, DDM can be an assest when it comes to Developers. Let’s have a look how Developers actually benefit from DDM

  • In DDM, simple and understandable rules are defined to operate on the data. The collection of these rules performs a series of known, tested and repeatable actions at the push of a button.
  • Data Masker handles even the most intricate data structures. It can preserve data relationships between rows in tables, between rows in the same table or even internally between columns in the same row
  • Data synchronization issues of this type can be automatically handled by the addition of simple, easily configured masking rules.
  • DDM works easily with tables containing hundreds of millions of rows.

 Conclusion:

Data security will never not be an issue; it will always be something we have to stay on top of.  However, with some of these practices in place we can avoid the at least giving the data away.

Information security is a never-ending issue; it will always be something we have to stay on top of. Dynamic data masking at least gives us a comfort zone where we can avoid at least giving the data away. Additionally, it minimizes the risk of accidental data leakage and dynamic obfuscation of sensitive data in the database responses.

Nitor’s Dynamic data masking services enables customers to focus on sensitive data elements in the desired databases. Our key objective is to provide customers with a working data masking solution while helping them establish knowledge and confidence. Additionally, we also believe that Dynamic Data Masking is complementary to other security features in SQL Database (e.g., auditing, encryption, RLS) and should be used as part of a comprehensive access control and data protection strategy.

To learn which implementation option best meets your organizations data masking needs please contact marketing@nitorinfotech.com

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