Why FieldShield Is Better


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Why is IRI FieldShield the best choice for protecting personally identifiable information (PII), privacy law compliance, and content-aware data loss prevention?


Only FieldShield includes multiple data source profiling tools to help you discover and classify PII in flat files, databases, and dark data repositories.

Only FieldShield protects sensitive data, both at rest or in transit, in 12 different ways to meet every business rule and data-centric condition. You can mask multiple database and file sources separately or in combination (e.g., ETL environments).

Protection jobs can run through an executable or SDK (.NET and Java), via free Eclipse GUI, the command line, batch scripts, DB applications, SQL procedures, or any program making a system or API call.


FieldShield's need-based, field-level protections happen faster than full database or device-centric encryption, especially in real-time. They also consume less CPU and I/O.

FieldShield uses the big data movement engines of IRI CoSort, FieldShield's parent product. So if performance in volume is a concern, FieldShield is the only choice.


FieldShield allows you to specify data protections on a conditional basis using either SQL SELECT syntax or /INCLUDE-OMIT logic in your jobs, so that you can target protection function based on a pattern, value, or range in a specific column or string.

Choose a protection for each field from any of the 12 categories, or your saved rules, based on your role-based access controls. Consider a health insurance claim table with 19 columns, 3 of which have PHI: pseudonymize the name, mask the SSN, encrypt the medical billing code, and leave the remaining data alone.


Most encryption solutions have one method or key, and cover an entire data source or device. If compromised, everything is exposed. With FieldShield, other fields are still protected even if one is breached. Multiple encryption functions and keys for different fields and different recipients also help.

Several non-reversible data masking and obfuscation functions, as well as simple field removal, also enhance security.

FieldShield jobs, data definitions, and related assets can be secured through a free, distributed metadata management hub.


FieldShield can produce a single secured output for multiple recipients, with selective authorization to reveal the plaintext controlled by managed en(de)-cryption keys. This reduces protection time, storage, and the complexity (synchronization problem) of managing disparate versions of the output.

FieldShield can also produce multiple outputs for distributed anonymization scenarios. Either way, however, by specifying all the protections in one FieldShield program, there is only one job to create, manage, and audit.

You can easily apply a common protection rule to multiple tables at once (without Java), and re-use that rule in other data protection, etc. jobs. This GUI-supported feature saves design time, automates rule application, and preserves referential integrity.

Compliance team members can unify and control their data and FieldShield metadata assets in the cloud with a free metadata management hub (e.g., EGit).


FieldShield uses self-documenting 4GL scripts to define the layouts and protections of table columns and file fields. And with the IRI Workbench GUI, built on Eclipse™, even the simple syntax need not be learned or hand-coded.

User-friendly data discovery and job definition wizards help you design and build the scripts automatically. Data and job specs are easy to modify in the GUI or any text editor ... something else other data masking tools don't offer.


FieldShield runs on all Unix, Linux, and Windows platforms, and operates on all ODBC-connected database tables, and the sequential file formats common to most applications and mainframes, including files with header and footer records.

FieldShield also uses the same metadata and Eclipse GUI (IRI Workbench) as:

  • IRI CoSort for data transformation and reporting
  • IRI RowGen for realistic test data generation
  • IRI NextForm for database, file and data conversion
  • IRI FACT (Fast Extract) for unloading very large databases
  • IRI Voracity for total data management; i.e., discovery, integration, migration, governance, and analytics

Some of the functions in FieldShield are also plug-compatible with IRI CellShield for data masking in Excel.

FieldShield data definition files work with all IRI products, and are compatible with AnalytiX DS Mapping Manager (AMM) and the Meta Integration Model Bridge (MIMB). Their .ddf support means you can quickly leverage the existing metadata in your ETL, BI, and modeling tools for FieldShield and other IRI software.


FieldShield can create queryable XML job logs to verify the steps you took to comply with data privacy regulations. The logs contain the runtime and application environment auditors need. The logs can be public or private (e.g., via free EGit asset security).


FieldShield as a standalone product is licensed for perpetual use in the low five figures, and is discounted in volume and distributed runtime integration scenarios. IRI is a stable, US-based company (since 1978) not weighed down by shareholders or major marketing costs.

Customers appreciate these savings, or the free use of FieldShield capabilities inside the larger Voracity data management platform.

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