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Static Data Masking

Data anonymization process: Original SSN visible, then masked the data for various purposes.

What is Static Data Masking?

Static data masking (SDM) is a data security technique that permanently modifies sensitive data elements within a dataset, replacing them with realistic but fictitious values. This process creates an anonymized version of the data that preserves its structural integrity while safeguarding personally identifiable information (PII) and other confidential details. Accutive Data Discovery + Data Masking (ADM)’s data masking module is an example of a static data masking tool.

What is the Purpose of Static Data Masking?

protect sensitive data

Protect sensitive data

Static Data Masking obscures sensitive data within production databases to reduce security risks.
enable safe data sharing

Enable safe data sharing

Developers, testers, and analysts can work with masked datasets without accessing the real, sensitive data.
Comply with regulation

Comply with regulations

Static Data Masking helps organizations adhere to data privacy laws like PCI, HIPAA, PIPEDA and CCPA.
Quantum Proof Data Protection

Quantum Proof Data Protection

Static Data Masking is a fully quantum proof data protection technique as the masked data cannot be traced to the original sensitive data.

What is the difference between Static Data Masking and Dynamic Data Masking?

Static Data Masking (SDM)

  • Definition

    Permanently modifies sensitive data values in a dataset before storage or sharing. Creates a masked copy with realistic but fictitious data, preserving usability for development, testing, or analytics.

  • Security Advantage

    Offers stronger security because the original sensitive data is never stored. Even if a bad actor breaches the database, they will only be able access the masked data.

Dynamic Data Masking (DDM)

  • Definition

    Alters sensitive data on-the-fly, masking it only when accessed by users. The original data remains intact within the database.

  • Example of Dynamic Data Masking

    Microsoft SQL Server offers built in dynamic data masking; however, it does not offer static data masking.

  • Security Considerations

    Dynamic data masking may present a higher security risk. If a hacker gains access to the database, they might be able to view the unmasked sensitive data.

Which is more secure Static data masking or Dynamic data masking?


Static Data Masking

More secure as the original data is never stored.

Dynamic Data Masking

Less secure as the original data remains accessible within the database.

Choosing the Right Approach

The best method depends on your specific needs. Here’s a simplified breakdown
Use Static Data Masking where

Learn more about Accutive Data Discovery + Data Masking, the top rated static data masking solution on Gartner Peer Insights as of April 2024:

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