Gartner Research

Protecting PII and PHI With Data Masking, Format-Preserving Encryption and Tokenization

Published: 10 September 2015

ID: G00278106

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken , Joerg Fritsch


Transforming data by applying data masking, tokenization and format-preserving encryption is an excellent option for securing PII, PHI and other sensitive information for use cases where the original data is not needed.

Table Of Contents



  • Masking Architecture Choices
    • Static Data Masking
    • Dynamic Data Masking
    • Tokenization and Format-Preserving Encryption


  • Tread Carefully When Masking for Privacy
  • Choose the Appropriate Architecture Options
  • Choose the Right Techniques
  • Examine the Use of Suppression to Limit Exposure

The Details

  • Information Secrecy and Privacy Protection
  • Risk and Regulatory Requirements
  • Data Utility Requirements
  • The Science of Unmasking Data
    • Attacks on Secrecy
    • Attacks on Privacy
  • Masking Technique Choices
    • Suppression
    • Redaction
    • Substitution
    • Generalization
    • Shuffling/Swapping
    • Randomization
  • Vendor Details

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