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Delphix Rolls Out Data Masking For App Dev Security

Delphix 5.0 adds selective data distribution, which includes masking, as well as support for Oracle E-Business Suite and IBM DB2 to existing data virtualization capabilities.

Curtis Franklin Jr.

April 11, 2016

3 Min Read
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Security protocols and agile development needs can sometimes collide. When they do, at least one important aspect of IT will suffer. Delphix has provided data virtualization software to help development and testing teams for some time. With the new 5.0 release of its eponymous software, the company has added data masking to help minimize clashes between developers and security officers.

Many development and testing groups have used synthetic data -- data that is in the form of the actual application data, but with gibberish content -- for building applications. The problem is that synthetic data can either introduce (or sometimes mask) issues within the application that might be based on patterns within the data itself.

The Delphix masking process replaces the data in sensitive fields, such as customer name, social security number, or other identifying information, with data that is similar in form but completely unrelated to the actual data. In combination with the data virtualization capability, this means that every developer on a team can be given their own database to use during development. Later in the process, every tester can also have a data set to call their own.

The masking capability is part of Delphix Selective Data Distribution, in which data sets are synchronized, masked, and replicated in real time. In a telephone interview with InformationWeek, Daniel Graves, VP of products at Delphix, said that replicated data sets can be key to moving development environments to a cloud infrastructure, where the "bursty" nature of development and test runs can be economically absorbed in rapid setup and tear down cycles.

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When asked about the possibility of using data masking for obfuscating information to allow, for example, offshore processing of sensitive medical data, Graves pointed out that Delphix offers two possibilities for keeping sensitive data safe -- data masking is a non-reversible processes designed to allow safe data set virtualization, while data tokenization is a reversible process that can be used to obfuscate data sent for processing, then reversed when the processed data set is returned. Delphix software can perform both operations on the same data set, masking some fields while others are tokenized.

In addition to selective data distribution, Delphix 5.0 adds support for a greater swath of the application stack and a new database. The application stack is specifically the one that runs up and down the Oracle E-Business Suite, allowing Delphix to populate a full application for testing and development purposes. Delphix can now virtualize data from Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, SharePoint, and other enterprise applications platforms.

Delphix has also added support for IBM DB2, bringing it alongside Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and other popular enterprise databases as candidates for virtualization. Delphix is available as either on-premises or cloud implementations to provide data as a service to developers and testers. Delphix 5.0 is available immediately from Delphix and from its partner channel.

About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin Jr.

Senior Editor at Dark Reading

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and other conferences.

Previously he was editor of Light Reading's Security Now and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes.

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has contributed to a number of technology-industry publications including Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and ITWorld.com on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most popular book, The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Podcasting, with co-author George Colombo, was published by Que Books. His most recent book, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, was released in April 2010. His next book, Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2018.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in amateur radio (KG4GWA), scuba diving, stand-up paddleboarding, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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