02/04/2024

Data Privacy: A TDM cornerstone

The need for automation becomes apparent when tasks are frequently repeated. This is especially true in the context of regression testing, where automated test data management plays a crucial role. Regression tests are notable not only for their repetitive nature but also for requiring extensive data, particularly from production environments. Here, data privacy is a critical aspect, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected while providing a comprehensive dataset for testing across various application environments.

Production data have the variety, complexity, and breadth necessary to meet the data demands of QA teams for functional regression tests and even for performance testing.

icaria TDM has the necessary capabilities to find, in any application environment, the data that the test case needs and to deliver it on demand in the test environment where it is needed.

Often the environment with the best data to test is the production environment, but to use real data in software testing, it is essential to locate and mask sensitive data.

Learn more on why data security matters: Data Security: Why It's Crucial for Your Business.

Sensitive data map

In complex information systems, it is not easy to know where sensitive data are located in the database tables and files metamodel. Documentation and the knowledge of the development team help, but often it is insufficient in data models of thousands of tables and files.

icaria TDM has the capability to locate sensitive data. Inspectors scan the data sources, looking for patterns in the metamodel and in the data itself. The inspectors offer different configuration options. In addition, it is possible to add new inspectors in a specific icaria TDM installation.

Sensitive Data Map

Static analysis looks for patterns in field names - also excluding character strings that could lead to false positives - taking into account data types and lengths. Dynamic analysis examines the content of the fields, evaluating the data itself.
The results of the analyses are summarized in an indicator called temperature, which offers a relative measure of the field's sensitivity. This information is summarized in the sensitive data map.

Data masking policy

icaria TDM, the sensitive data masking tool, boasts an extensive catalog of mask algorithms. Furthermore, it is possible to add new algorithms to meet the needs of a specific organization.

The data masking algorithms of icaria TDM allow for the establishment of complex rules aimed at maintaining the representativeness, coherence, and functional richness of the original data: they can handle multi-valued fields and generate, for example, names of people or companies in the same field by evaluating the type of content in an additional field; or they can coherently mask several fields of the same record (for example, a bank account number represented in different fields); they can also deal with positional content, among other unique capabilities.

Data Masking Policy

Assigning dissociators to fields within the metamodel establishes the masking policy. Simplifying the creation process in icaria TDM STUDIO, the sensitive data map and batch assignment utilities play a crucial role.

Once configured, the masking policy is published live on icaria TDM Portal, becoming available for immediate application. In this way, it is not necessary to stop the operational environment of icaria TDM to publish an update of the masking policy.

Desployment of policies and structures

Changes in the application metamodel are detected by icaria TDM. Incremental publication of the masking policy allows for updates as frequently as necessary.

Applying the masking policy

The masking policy is a common capability to any icaria TDM data delivery process that involves real, sensitive data.

In this way, whether in a complete database dissociation, a segmentation process, or in the search for test data, if there are real and sensitive data involved, the masking policy is applied. The masked data are consistent with each other, regardless of the TDM process in which they are involved.

Moreover, icaria TDM offers two modes of operation, anonymization and pseudonymization, which allow adaptation to recurring data delivery processes or one-time occurrence processes.

The execution of data masking processes can be ordered from the icaria TDM graphical interface and also from secured REST services. In this way, it is possible to schedule their execution at the most appropriate times.

The data masking process requires high performance, which in the case of icaria TDM is achieved through various mechanisms that allow for adaptation to environments with large volumes to process: multi-threaded architecture, multi-node architecture for horizontal scaling, execution strategy (order of tables, virtual partitioning of tables), execution by file download, etc.

The results of the data masking processes are recorded and audited, with the information available for consultation.

Masking Policy

Learn More About the Tool

icaria TDM takes the Test Data Management methodology to a new level by offering automation, minimizing risks, and improving software quality. It is a comprehensive and adaptable tool that perfectly aligns with the demands of today's technological world.

Ready to elevate your data management practices? Request a demo today and explore the transformative potential of icaria TDM for your data usage strategies!

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