Information Security continues to be a key business challenge.  Technology and data usage are changing rapidly, the regulatory landscape is evolving, and the costs associated with data breaches are now very, very real.

I’ve observed the focus shifting over the years as businesses move to implement controls around their corporate databases.  Interestingly, databases have not historically always had the security focus one would expect. There are number of reasons I can think of to explain this but possibly, a key factor is the lack of attention paid by auditors to database security.  This is something I’ve always found perplexing – these databases hold the data ‘crown jewels’ of a business!

But things are different now.

Businesses are paying more attention to their key data assets – and this is reflected in the challenges our customers are now asking us to address. On a simplistic level, this could be attributed to the transformation of data from transactional item to valued asset, but there are many external influences at play. In addition to the obvious regulatory drivers, we are noting a growth in customer influence; in the B2B landscape end users are asking their suppliers, our customers to meet specific and direct requirements about database security.  The impetus for data security is no longer just Audit, Compliance or the risk of losing control of this data, it’s also about winning customers – and retaining them.

So yes, we are seeing a change in our customers’ attitudes to securing customer data. Over recent years we’ve worked on ‘least privilege’ access, separation of duties, auditing, data encryption and full database encryption solutions for customers.  The SAP Sybase product set provides the tools to address all these requirements; the implementation of full database in ASE 16 is a great solution for encryption at rest.  Later releases continue to enhance security.

One area of changing attitude is ‘Data masking’ or ‘Data Obfuscation’. Delivery of representative and full-size data sets for development and testing is important for a number of reasons. From a DevOps perspective, it allows for realistic development and testing scenarios, reducing risk and accelerating development and testing cycles.  Clearly the use of highly sensitive customer data outside of production is fraught with risk and as we are all so aware with GDPR the legal requirement to mask data is now much more explicit. But, and there’s a big ‘But’, the data masking process can be expensive and painful; valuable resources can be subsumed in developing, implementing and maintaining a masking solution and then provisioning the masked data to multiple environments, which in the banking industry for example, can run into the 100s. Post implementation, the ongoing costs are considerable – multiple versions and environments all requiring reiterative refreshing … and the cost and effort involved with maintaining each additional non-production environment is significant. We know this from experience.

But there are now alternatives.  We partner with Delphix, whose excellent technology allows for data to be masked just once, automatically and irreversibly, and then delivered repeatedly to every environment.  As a result, data can be securely delivered on demand where it is needed, without manual intervention.

Data Masking is just one of things that Delphix does extremely well.  With a mission to empower businesses to accelerate innovation through data, the Delphix Dynamic Data platform is making data accessible to every stakeholder across on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments – crucially at the pace required to enable rapid development of applications and solutions.  Capabilities include virtualisation, data masking and the provision of self-service personal data environments for data operators and data users alike.  It is hardly surprising that Delphix is already being used by many of the world’s leading companies.

Delphix works seamlessly with SAP ASE and is the obvious progression for SAP users.

If you’d like to find out more about how Delphix could make a difference get in touch.