Gartner Research

Data Masking: Runtime Data Aliasing

Published: 02 April 2010

ID: G00203931

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken


Protecting the ever-proliferating amount of confidential data stored, processed, and shared in the enterprise poses great challenges. Runtime data aliasing, also known as "tokenization" and "pseudonymization," is an emerging technology solution that provides methods to replace confidential data with similarly formatted surrogates (aliases) through the use of encryption or lookup databases. Each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses, and many data management and architecture design criteria have to be taken into account when considering a data aliasing solution. In this assessment, analyst Ramon Krikken examines data aliasing and provides recommendations for its implementation in enterprise environments.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Seeking Alternatives to Mainstream Encryption
  • Aliasing as a Data Masking Method
  • Use Cases, Tokenization, and Pseudonymization
  • Managing Structured and Unstructured Data
  • Data Design and Management Considerations
  • Encryption-Based and Lookup-Based Aliasing
  • Data Aliasing as a Cryptographic Operation
  • Architectural Considerations
  • Using Aliasing in the Cloud and for the Cloud
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


Further Information

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