Report: Scrubbing information of identifying details could be key to data security

Report: Scrubbing information of identifying details could be key to data security The practice of data masking, or removing particular pieces of information on sensitive files, may be an important part of preventing unauthorized access, according to a report from Dataguise.

A specialized algorithm, the company said, is used to replace private data with a realistic-looking alternative that is actually incorrect. Data masking could become critically important as the issue of privacy for online data continues to grow in importance, even more so in specific industries, like insurance or healthcare.

"Data-masking technologies can help protect organizations against security breaches as well as regulatory and other compliance failures. A clear understanding of the key trends in this still-evolving market is crucial to making the right implementation decisions," said Gartner Research senior analyst Joe Feiman in the report.

Dataguise suggested using test copies of reports generated automatically to protect real information in online databases.

Further protective measures, focused more on access control and input validation, are also seen as an increasingly critical step for web systems, experts say, particularly where online databases are concerned.