As data breaches continue to become more common, it’s vital to make sure your data is protected. But how?
When you work on a data project that involves sensitive or private information, it’s important to consider data masking as a best practice.
Introduction: Data masking is a term used to describe the process of hiding or changing personal or otherwise confidential data, such as name, date of birth, social security number, etc. It’s also called “masking” because it’s done using a “mask”, which is essentially a blank piece of paper. With a mask, you can change, alter, or hide certain data without actually seeing it.
Data masking is an important aspect of data security that many companies overlook. With the increase in data breaches, it’s more important than ever that organizations are aware of best practices. Here’s a breakdown of the seven best practices that every company should be implementing.
Choose a strategy that fits your business model
What you don’t want to do is mask data with the wrong marketing strategy. If you’re selling a subscription service, your goal should be to create an expectation that you’ll only offer new content to paying customers. Once that’s set, use a retention strategy to keep subscribers. You can’t count on churn rates because some people will have a high churn rate (i.e., they leave) and others will have a low churn rate (i.e., they don’t leave). Instead, focus on building an engaged community.
As much as we all love data, it’s a pain to get. And, when you get it, it’s a pain to analyze. So, how do you use data to its best advantage? A strategy that does that is called masking. You can mask your data, or you can mask the data of others. This may mean putting your data in a form that’s not easily read by humans or using different metrics to show what you want to show.
Implement data masking from day one
The other point about urgency is that people tend to remember things that are urgent. Therefore, it is important that you implement data masking in your e-commerce store from day one. This way, there will be no surprises later on when a user tries to purchase a product they didn’t mean to buy, and thus, isn’t sure if they’re going to like it. Data masking is a process of hiding or obscuring personal information from a customer during checkout.
Build a team with a diverse set of skills
In terms of the data masking skill set, you want people who are good at using multiple databases (such as Excel, Access, etc.). This way, when you need to look at two data sets, one in Excel and another in Access, you can easily switch back and forth between them. The other big thing is that you need people who are very familiar with data visualizations (i.e. bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, etc.). This will help you present the data in a way that is easy for your audience to understand. You want to ensure that the people you hire are able to do more than one type of work. If you don’t have the right mix of skills, you’ll find yourself needing to do a lot of work for little reward.
There are a lot of different types of skills and capabilities that make up a successful team. The more diverse your skill set is, the better. If you’re trying to build a team that is diverse in skills, you should start by identifying the type of person you want on your team. For example, if you want someone who’s highly skilled in design and video editing, you’ll need to identify people in those areas that can contribute to your team.
Start by masking sensitive variables
To build a brand, it can be useful to mask sensitive variables in your analysis and reporting. For example, you could use a different metric in your report that does not reveal the type of product or service you sell, instead of focusing on other metrics (like conversion rate) that don’t reveal the type of product or service. In a survey, you might ask the customer about which factors they care about most, and then create a report that displays the data in a way that emphasizes these. This can help customers to feel more comfortable responding to questions that might otherwise make them uncomfortable.
You don’t need to give out every single piece of your data, but the more you can share, the easier it will be for readers to see the big picture. And, of course, the more you share, the more relevant your message will become. If you know where you’re headed with your business, it’s much easier to tailor your message to resonate with your audience. For example, if you’re a brand that sells kid’s clothing, you can talk about what your kids are into in terms of fashion trends. Or if your brand sells shoes, you could talk about the latest footwear styles.
Make sure the code is in compliance with your organization’s policies and procedures
There’s nothing more disheartening for a developer than to see code that doesn’t meet company standards. It can make them feel like they don’t matter, that their opinion isn’t heard and that their knowledge doesn’t really count for anything. When code is in compliance with your company’s standards, you can make your developers feel like the world’s greatest software developers. They won’t feel as if their opinion is not important, or that they don’t matter.
Use real-time testing to avoid rework
Most of us are familiar with the concept of pre-launch/beta testing, but what about real-time testing? This is where you test a product during its development. You can also do real-time testing during a product launch. The benefit of this kind of testing is that you’re able to see how people respond to your product or service during a live environment. This is a great way to find bugs that may not have occurred during pre-launch testing or beta testing.
Maintain good practices for your organization
If you are a business owner, then you are probably aware that data privacy is a hot topic right now. This is because of two reasons: One, businesses have more data than ever before about their customers and employees, and Two, companies are being fined for not taking their responsibilities seriously. In fact, the recent Equifax breach is only the latest example of the fact that many companies are falling short on their data privacy policies and practices.
As more people turn to the Internet for research and buying decisions, organizations are beginning to see that protecting customer data is becoming a more critical business need than ever. As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you’re collecting data from your customers, there’s a good chance you’ve heard this one. And, if you’re going to rely on your data for decision-making, it’s important to keep it clean.
- Have a dedicated data person.
- Have a separate data team.
- Keep the data secure and separate from the main data set.
- Understand that masking data is a shared responsibility.
- Make sure you have strong security.
- Be transparent with your clients.
- Be mindful of the legal implications of your practices.
In conclusion, the more you know about data masking, the easier it will be for you to be successful with your data security initiatives. If you are already doing data masking, you should be able to recognize the best practices that you have been using and the things that you are not doing as well. These seven best practices can be used to improve the effectiveness of your data masking activities.
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