Data masking (DM) is a technology aimed at preventing the abuse of sensitive data by giving users fictitious (yet realistic) data instead of real sensitive data. It aims to deter the misuse of data at rest, typically in nonproduction databases (static data masking [SDM]), and data in transit, typically in production databases (dynamic data masking [DDM]). DM is not the same as encryption or tokenization, although masking vendors may also offer encryption or tokenization. Static masking is a nonreversible process in which the data undergoes a one-way transformation. Tokenization and format-preserving encryption (FPE) are alternative methods that are designed to be reversible, but this reversibility may increase the risk of secrecy and privacy violations.
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