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šŸŽ„ CellShield Masks Sensitive Data in Your Excel Spreadsheets

by Jackie Sabbagh

This is the second in a four-part series to introduce IRI CellShield. An overview is found here. The following parts demonstrate how to use the other functions in CellShield: encryption and pseudonymization.Ā Ā 

IRI CellShield is new, seamless security software for masking PII in spreadsheets. CellShield comes as either an inexpensive Excel add-in, or in an enterprise edition for LAN-wide PII discovery, bulk remediation, and auditing. Both versions performĀ full or partialĀ redaction, encryption (including format-preserving) and decryption, and pseudonymization:

Simply select the range of cells you want to protect, and then click the type of protection you need.

An easy-to-use interface guides you through the steps, and CellShield does the work for you. ItĀ also provides decryption and pseudonym restoration.

Below isĀ a step-by-step example using CellShieldā€™s ‘Mask Redact’ feature to mask social security numbers in an Excel spreadsheet. (Note: All information used in this example is fictional.)

1. Open the Excel spreadsheet containing the data you want CellShield to protect.

2. Select the range of cells to protect.


3. Click the CellShield tab on the Excel ribbon.

4. Select the protection option you want to use from the buttons on the CellShield menu. In this case, select ‘Mask Redact’.


5. Fill in all required information on the user form that pops up from your selection.


6. Click the button to perform the desired action (in this example, ‘Mask’), and see the results inĀ the chosenĀ location (either into a new spreadsheet or back within the selected range – be careful here).


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen Lewis November 4, 2015 at 2:14 pm

I have Excel data that I want to provide to an intern or third party for analysis. Somewhat similar to an encryption/decryption process, I would like to ā€˜maskā€™ the confidential data where the absolute numbers can be analyzed with some ā€˜data maskingā€™ software, algorithm, etc. and reverted back to original numbers with the appropriate analysis completed. Essentially the analysis is conducted with the masked data converted from the original file and when analysis is completed can be reverted back to a the revised original. Can your product accomplish this need? Thanks.


David Friedland November 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm

The expression builder in the CellShield’s parent product, IRI FieldShield, for databases and flat-files, front-ends this capability for data in relational and flat-file sources now, and are adding this capability in the CellShield Enterprise Edition so it can be applied to (and reversed) across sheets en-masse. Please email with your timeframe so we can try to align our ETA with it.


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