Tag Archives: data masking

Is Your Customer and Employee Information Safe?

Personally Identifiable Information is under attack like never before.  In the news recently two prominent organizations—institutions—were attacked.  What happened:

  • A data breach at a major U.S. Insurance company exposed over a million of their policyholders to identity fraud.  The data stolen included Personally Identifiable information such as names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and birth dates.  In addition to Nationwide paying million dollar identity fraud protection to policyholders, this breach is creating fears that class action lawsuits will follow. (more…)
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Posted in Application ILM, Big Data, Data masking, Financial Services, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Data Security from the Inside—Out

Earlier this week I met with security leaders at some of the largest organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They highlighted disturbing trends, in addition to the increased incidence of breaches they see increased:

-          Numbers of customer who want to do security audits of their company

-          Number of RFPs in which information is required about data security

-          Litigation from data security breaches— and occurrences of class action lawsuits—as opposed to regulatory fines driving concerns

So much attention has been placed on defending the perimeter that many organizations feel they are in an arms race. Part of the problem is that it’s not clear how effective the firewalls are. While firewalls may be a part of the solution, organizations are increasingly looking at how to make their applications bulletproof and centralize controls. One of the high risk areas are systems where people have more access than they need to.

For example, many organizations have created copies of production environments for test, development and training purposes. As a result this data can be completely exposed and the confidential aspects are at risk of being leaked intentionally or unintentionally. I spoke to a customer a couple of weeks ago who had tried to change the email addresses in their test database. But they missed a few.  As a result, during a test run, they sent their customers emails. Their customers called back and asked what was going on. That was when we started talking to them about a masking solution that would permanently mask the data in these environments. In this way they would have the best data to test with and all sensitive details obliterated.

Another high risk area is with certain users, for example cloud administrators, who have access to all data in the clear. As a result, the administrators have access to account numbers and social security numbers that they don’t need in order to do their jobs. Here, masking these values would enable them to still see the passwords they need to do their jobs. But it would prevent the breach of the other confidential data.

Going back to the concerns the security leaders had, how do you prove to your customers that you have data security? Especially, if it’s difficult to prove the effectiveness of a firewall? This is where reports on what data was masked and what it was masked to comes in. Yes, you can pay for cyberinsurance to cover your losses for when you have a breach. But wouldn’t it be better to prevent the breaches in the first place and showing how you’ve done it? Try looking at the problem from the inside—out.

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Posted in Application ILM, Big Data, Data masking, Data Privacy, Financial Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Healthcare, SaaS | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Informatica Educates Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Attendees On How To Balance The Big Data Balancing Act

Thousands of Oracle OpenWorld 2012 attendees visited the Informatica booth to learn how to leverage their combined investments in Oracle and Informatica technology.  Informatica delivered over 40 presentations on topics that ranged from cloud, to data security to smart partitioning. Key Informatica executives and experts, from product engineering and product management, spoke with hundreds of users on topics and answered questions on how Informatica can help them improve Oracle application performance, lower risk and costs, and reduce project timelines. (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Data Migration, Data Privacy, Data Quality, data replication, Master Data Management, Partners | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do You Make the Business Case for Data Privacy?

 

Given the reputation risk and the cost of security breaches, organizations know they should be implementing data privacy in all their environments—whether it’s in production or test and development.
But the question I often get is: I know we need to better data security, but how do I prioritize these projects above other projects?
As our customers have shared with us the time and cost savings they achieved using our software, we have created a business value assessment that uses those benchmarks to calculate the benefits organizations would achieve by implementing a solution like Informatica Data Privacy. This business value assessment is based on the best practices for managing the data privacy lifecycle and includes the following phases seen below.

 

For each of these phases, we have collected how our customers have benefited and used those figures as the basis for calculating benefits for any organization using the Informatica solution. We’ve also used industry benchmarks to calculate risk mitigation and hardware cost savings. Following are the benefits our customers have realized and map to the data privacy life cycle.

Accelerate Sensitive Data Discovery – Rapidly identify sensitive data across all legacy and packaged applications
Increase Development Productivity – Develop global masking rules more efficiently
Increase Testing Productivity – Reduce the time it takes to capture optimal test case data
Increase Quality – Use realistic data in QA and development to reduce later rework and fixes
Risk Mitigation – Avoid breaches, reducing victim notification costs, fines
Hardware Reduction – Subset and create smaller copies of production for test purposes, reducing storage costs
Increase Compliance Reporting Productivity – Prove compliance through automated reports on masked data
Outsourcing Savings – Because data is masked, companies can then outsource application development or support.

As a result of using this type of assessment early in their project cycle, our customers have successfully made the case to prioritize these data privacy projects.
Let us know if you want to talk about the Business Value Assessment for Data Privacy— so you too can say, “I know we need to mitigate risk—and here’s how we can minimize the costs of doing so.”

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Posted in Data masking, Data Privacy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Are the Data Security Weaknesses in Your Cloud Solution?

In a May 2012 survey by the Ponemon Institute, 66 percent said they are not confident their organization would be able to detect the loss or theft of sensitive personal information contained in systems operated by third parties, including cloud providers. In addition, the majority are not confident that their organization would be able detect the loss or theft of sensitive personal information in their company’s production environment. 

 Which aspect of data security for your cloud solution is most important?

 1. Is it to protect the data in copies of production/cloud applications used for test or training purposes?  For example, do you need to secure data in your Salesforce.com Sandbox?

2.  Is it to protect the data so that a user will see data based on her/his role, privileges, location and data privacy rules? 

3.  Is it to protect the data before it gets to the cloud?

 As compliance continues to drive people to action, compliance with contractual agreements, especially for the cloud infrastructure continues to drive investment.  In addition, many organizations are supporting Salesforce.com as well as packaged solutions such as Oracle eBusiness, Peoplesoft, SAP, and Siebel. 

Of the available data protection solutions, tokenization has been used and is well known for supporting PCI data and preserving the format and width of a table column. But because many tokenization solutions today require creating database views or changing application source code, it has been difficult for organizations to support packaged applications that don’t allow these changes. In addition, databases and applications take a measurable performance hit to process tokens.

What might work better is to dynamically tokenize data before it gets to the cloud. So there would be a transparent layer between the cloud and on-premise data integration that would replace the sensitive data with tokens.  In this way, additional code to the application would not be required.

In the Ponemon survey, most said the best control is to dynamically mask sensitive information based on the user’s privilege level.  After dynamically masking sensitive data, people said encrypting all sensitive information contained in the record is the best option.

The strange thing is that people recognize there is a problem but are not spending accordingly.  In the same survey from Ponemon, 69% of organizations find it difficult to restrict user access to sensitive information in IT and business environments. However, only 33% say they have adequate budgets to invest in the necessary solutions to reduce the insider threat.

Is this an opportunity for you? 

Hear Larry Ponemon discuss the survey results in more detail during a CSOonline.com/Computerworld webinar, Data Privacy Challenges and Solutions: Research Findings with Ponemon Institute, on Wednesday, June 13.

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Posted in Application ILM, Big Data, Data Governance, Data masking, Data Privacy, Financial Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Healthcare, Informatica 9.5, Pervasive Data Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Your Encryption Based Data Security Solution Protect You From Insider Threats?

In a May 2012 report just released by the Ponemon Institute, 69 percent of organizations find it difficult to restrict user access to sensitive information in IT and business environments. On top of that 66% say their organizations find it difficult to comply with privacy and data protection regulations. So organizations are finding it hard to keep up with new regulation at the same time they are unable to secure data from internal users. It’s no wonder that in this same report 50% say that data has been compromised or stolen by malicious insiders such as privileged users. (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, Data masking, Data Privacy | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where Are the Gaps in Your Data Privacy Solution?

It’s hard to miss data privacy in the headlines these days. Banks and insurance companies have not only had their customer information compromised, but they need to keep up with changing privacy regulations (PCI DSS, GLB, EU Data Protection Directive, US Privacy Laws)—or be fined. The impact is staggering—and costly. For example, last year Citigroup had more information compromised from their 200,000 bank cardholders. HSBC faced $5M in fines for inadequate data security.

But personal information is not the only type of data that needs to be protected. We’ve spoken to our customers about the need to protect sensitive information that includes financial information about a client, revenues, purchasing and pricing information. In addition I’ve spoken to organizations that are looking to keep and protect sensitive information across business units (so that one business unit will have restricted access to another business unit’s data). (more…)

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Dynamic Data Masking Combats Daunting Data Breach Risks

It seems like every day a new data breach splashes across the news. As consumers, patients, customers and social networkers many of us have a plethora of information stored in various databases well outside our control. Data security officers, DBAs and other security specialists continue to do their best to educate, protect and anticipate both internal and external threats. But … the breaches continue and so do their associated costs. There are many technologies from encryption to tokenization to database activity monitoring (DAM) to data loss prevention (DLP).

Informatica just released a new option to the mix: dynamic data masking.  The technology came into the company through the acquisition of ActiveBase. Since then I’ve had a number of people ask me if Informatica Dynamic Data Masking will complement or replace an organization’s existing data security technologies.

(more…)

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Posted in Data Governance, Data masking, Data Privacy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Biggest IT Security Nightmare – Non-Production Data

Everyone is worried about data security and privacy as they should be; for data to be trusted, users and management need confidence in not just knowing that data is correct, but also in knowing that it is secure and that access is permitted only in controlled situations. There is no shortage of security disaster stories, but I’m not worried about production data since it is at the heart of application management disciplines which, while still not perfect, have had 50 years to mature. This perspective is stated succinctly by Ronald Reagan when he spoke about the economy and said “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, CIO, Data Governance, Data masking, Data Privacy, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Integration Competency Centers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ROI Tool To Help Make The Business Case For Database Archiving, Application Retirement, Test Data Management, And Data Masking

Though the benefits of containing the size of your databases by archiving seems obvious in terms of saving costs and improving performance,  quantifying those benefits in terms of dollar savings requires more thought.  The same is true when it comes to the costs that can be eliminated by retiring redundant legacy applications.  Some of the savings may come from hard dollar costs such as:

-      Storage

-      Backup devices

-      Maintenance contracts

-      Software licenses (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, Application Retirement, Data masking, Data Privacy, Database Archiving | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment