Test Data Privacy for Unstructured Data Files

Ensuring privacy for customer data in testing has always been a challenge, testers prefer to use real customer data from production environments to have a more realistic representation of their application testing. Anonymized test data ensures better protection for sensitive customer data, eliminating mandates to obtain explicit customer consent for its use in testing per compliance regulations for data protection among other data privacy metrics. Non-compliant companies would be subject to steep sanctions from robust regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI DSS. 

Failure to disguise test data can represent significant risks to costly and damaging data breaches. Companies have widely adopted data masking as the best practice to provide fictitious yet contextually realistic data in testing to maintain testing effectiveness. But when it comes to the large batch of unstructured data files needed in testing and development operations, there was no solution that could comprehensively mask such data. 

Furthermore, if an organization utilizes third-party testing providers, the risks of outsourced staff in offshore or nearshore regions to access real customer data and mishandle such data can be very real. There is no easy way to prevent from prying eyes on personal and sensitive customer data, unless data masking is performed in advance. Now imagine, a banking institution that holds and processes millions of personal bank statements in PDF formats. The organization would need to ensure that sensitive data in such files is fully protected just as any other data stored in structured file formats and systems. 

LisbonTech UDM was created in need to bridge the significant gap in masking the variety of unstructured data file formats. It can mask over 75 file formats of unstructured data for production and non-production environments, solving issues such as protecting the sensitive data stored in complex files including PDFs (Bank statements, checks, healthcare/insurance claims, etc), Excel spreadsheets, Emails, and more data residing outside of structured systems.

Other data anonymization techniques such as redaction (changing real values to xxx) constrain optimal testing, as well as encryption and tokenization,  which can and need to be reversed in transition or in use for testing/development. Data masking is the only protocol that allows end-to-end protection of sensitive data and full integrity of the testing processes.

Are you looking to protect your unstructured data for test data management? Request a Demo of our UDM solution and we will provide a complimentary health-check of your unstructured data privacy needs across your enterprise.

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