Data Redaction

 

Next Steps
Overview Encryption Pseudonymization Redaction Tokenization

Challenges


Personally identifiable information (PII) that is not needed for downstream use or recovery should be redacted (covered over with masking characters, or removed) to prevent misuse. Meanwhile, other data elements or selected parts of the PII value itself may still need to be exposed.

At the same time, the masking should preserve the original storage format and overall field appearance so that the platform (e.g., DB table) structure or application need not be altered. Masking all but the last four digits of a credit card or social security number with asterisks is a common data redaction requirement.

While DBAs can remove columns in tables, there are few alternatives for masking data in different ways across multiple databases and file sources.

Solutions


To redact data at rest, use IRI FieldShield for DBs and flat files, IRI CellShield for Excel, or the SortCL program in IRI CoSort or IRI Voracity for bigger structured and semi-structured data sources. To redact data in motion (dynamic data masking), use the IRI Chakra Max database firewall.

Search for, classify, and redact a specified number of bytes, defined (sub-)strings, entire fields, or one or more rows. Choose the type and start/stop locations of the masking characters. Determine whether to apply the redaction based on column names or field value conditions.

Character masking is just one of the non-reversible protection functions provided in IRI software. Others include randomization, external source pseudonymization, and possibly hashing. Reversible protections include encryption, encoding, a proprietary ASCII de-ID function, same-source pseudonymization, expression logic, and string functions.

SortCL users have the additional option to transform and report on data as they redact it in whole or part.

All IRI software is supported in a free, familiar GUI built on Eclipse called IRI Workbench, which exposes and profiles multiple data sources, helps configure masking jobs, and manages the projects for team-sharing and compliance verification.

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