Cambridge UK, Thursday, 12 December – Driven by the increasing requirement for organizations to protect personal data, data masking (DM) is becoming a widely accepted practice, with the most common use case the desensitization of data in non-production environments. According to Gartner, which released its latest Market Guide for Data Masking on 25 November: “The DM market is mature in areas such as static data masking (SDM) products for relational databases and DevOps use cases, and it continues to evolve, particularly for big data and dynamic data masking (DDM) use cases. This was reflected in Gartner Hype Cycles where SDM reached the Plateau of Productivity in 2017 and DDM is moving up the Slope of Enlightenment in the ‘Hype Cycle for Data Security, 2019’.” There are now established solutions available for businesses to introduce SDM, such as Redgate’s Data Masker, which is listed in the guide for the second year running. The market has also been growing steadily and Gartner expects it to continue, with the Guide stating: “By 2022, consistent enterprise-wide use of DM or similar deidentification techniques will increase to 50%, an increase from 20% in 2018.” A key finding written by the experts is that: “The evolution of threats and compliance requirements – in particular, privacy regulations – continues to fuel demand for DM products. This demand is further sustained by long-term trends such as public cloud adoption, the expanded use of data analytics and the maturation of DevOps processes.” Included in the list of recommendations for security and risk management leaders responsible for the security of applications and data is the need for businesses to: “Mitigate the risk of data that enables their organizations’ digital business transformation by adopting DM as part of a broader data security strategy to minimize sensitive data or exposure to sensitive data in their environment.” A further recommendation by the experts is to: “Take advantage of innovative DM products at the data virtualization or application tier to minimize the performance impact on development and testing teams, or to address architectural issues.” Data and relationship discovery also enter the picture for two reasons: “The same sensitive data types might be present in multiple tables of the same database, as well as in other databases across the enterprise. If masking is required, then it should be applied consistently to all instances of that data in all of the required tables and databases. Getting those relationships right is also critical to maintaining the referential integrity of the databases for the applications that will be operating with masked data.” Manual processes are notoriously time-consuming and error-prone in this respect. The Guide states: “Both automating the discovery process and minimizing the number of undetected data relationships are essential, and the metadata gathered (or imported) as part of this process greatly improves the masking rule definition process.” Redgate believes the inclusion of Redgate’s Data Masker in the Guide validates the software company’s continued investment in enabling customers to adopt Database DevOps practices, while ensuring that data subject to the GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA and other regulations remains secure. Redgate launched SQL Clone in early 2017 which makes clever use of the virtualization technologies built into the Windows OS to create copies of databases that are a fraction of the size of the original. A year later, Data Masker was added to SQL Clone to enable masked copies of databases to be used in development and testing, and just last month, Redgate announced SQL Data Catalog general availability. SQL Data Catalog is a new solution which discovers and classifies sensitive data in SQL Server estates and then automatically scans the databases and schemas within an estate to catch any changes. To give organizations an opportunity to assess the value Redgate Data Masker, SQL Data Catalog and SQL Clone can add to their database development processes, fully-functional free trials of the tools are available from the Redgate website.