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Data Masking, Virtualization & the Hunt For Data Security

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The RSA Conference this week in San Francisco is the world's largest gathering of computer security experts.

The RSA Conference this week in San Francisco is the world's largest gathering of computer security experts. Nearly 40,000 people attended its awards ceremonies, hundreds of presentations, and demonstrations from thousands of vendors of data protection technologies. But if you bought everything at the show, would your organization be completely secure? Likely not, and that's the beauty of the industry, you can never have enough security; nothing is 100% secure.

These days, computer security is directly related to Chief Information Officer (CIO) job security. A 2015 study by Big Data company Actian found that 43 percent of CEOs said they would fire their CIO/CTO if there is a major data breach.

But with so many high-profile data breaches, even those with big IT budgets haven't been able to spend enough or choose the right security to protect their organization. And current trends don't bode well for CIO job security because they increase the risk of a major data breach. For example, the rush to develop more enterprise applications is particularly troubling.

Application development teams require fresh, full copies of the production database for their testing. Finding bugs early is absolutely vital. But every copy of the production database multiplies the risk of sensitive data being exposed. 

Using a firewall to protect these copies is not enough and many enterprises simply lose track of the many places that copies of their sensitive data are stored. A recent survey by RSA and ISACA found that 24 percent of computer security professionals had no way of knowing if they had suffered a data loss.

But with data masking, you can lose track of your database copies and still have full data protection. The sensitive data is located and overwritten with realistic-looking - but fake - data. The sensitive data is removed. Encryption changes data, but it is reversible. Data masking is not reversible. There's nothing under the "mask."

So, is data masking unbreakable security? Does it crack the code on delivering 100 percent secure technology? You still have to protect your production database, but at least you know your sensitive data is in one location. You be the judge.

Data masking becomes even more powerful if you combine it with data virtualization software. You only need to mask one copy of the production database. Then you can provision as many virtual copies as you want. You can even let the app developers do it themselves with self-service interfaces.

Data masking without data virtualization is a laborious and long process, and then you have to do it again and again for each database copy. Delphix automates the data masking and you only need to do it once. You can make unlimited database copies and each one is 100 percent secure. Data masking with data virtualization is a killer combination.

Delphix enables superior application test data management. Catch a bug early and you save tens of thousands of dollars.

Computer security technologies generally focus on one thing: protection. Data masking with data virtualization also accelerates enterprise app delivery. Delphix helps CIOs keep their jobs and makes them look like IT heroes.

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Want to chat with top experts in data security and data management? We will be all over the USA and EMEA running "Lunch and Learn" events. Locations include: Colorado, Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich. Contact alexandros@delphix.com if interested in attending!