Software Quality Insights

Nov 19 2008   7:00PM GMT

Protecting data in software testing environments

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

When you think about application or software security, you usually think about the bad guys outside your company trying to get in. But just as often, if not more, the danger comes from within with employees accessing personal data.

The issue of protecting data comes up when testing applications. Testers need production-like data to ensure applications work correctly, but you don’t want to give them live data. To help with that, companies are employing data masking technologies.

DataGuise is one company that provides a data masking tool. This week the company announced the industry’s first masking in place (MIP) solution for multi-database environments, the DataGuise dgSolution suite. Company officials say the suite solves two of the biggest concerns for building non-production test environments: time-to-deployment and production data leakage.

The suite includes dgDiscover, which helps locate sensitive data across various databases, and dgMasker, which masks the data in non-production environments.

dgMasker comes with 15 masking options out of the box, including options for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, etc. And because it runs across multiple databases, if you make a change on one database it will also be changed on the others. You get consistent test data.

Erik Jarlstrom, vice president of customer advocacy at DataGuise, said they tried to make it a high-performance suite. “We really tried to make it as fast as possible so you aren’t releasing unmasked data to development,” he said.

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