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Data Masking Certified in EBS: What You Need to Know

Author: John Kaufling | | January 21, 2021

In September, Oracle announced that E-Business Suite 12.1.3 and Oracle Database 19c are now certified for use with its data masking template. We’ve written before about dynamic data masking in SQL Server 2016—so what do you need to know about Oracle’s own data masking functionality?

What is Data Masking?

Organizations may possess a great deal of confidential data about their customers and users, including their full names, contact information, Social Security numbers, or payment cards. But with the average cost of a data breach now almost $3.9 million, storing all this information can get very expensive if you don’t have a way to protect it.

Data masking is an IT security practice that helps improve user privacy by obfuscating this sensitive data. In certain contexts, e.g. during application development and testing, you may need to have a functional version of your database, but without wanting to expose the information it contains to people who aren’t authorized to view it. Data masking essentially “scrambles” your existing data and scrubs it of personally identifiable information, creating a realistic but inauthentic version of the database that you can share with a larger audience without creating privacy concerns.

Data Masking in EBS 12.1.3 and Database 19c

Oracle has previously certified its data masking template for other applications and software versions (e.g. EBS 12.2). However, the announcement in September has now also brought data masking to cloned EBS 12.1.3 environments using Oracle Database 19c, via the Oracle Data Masking and Subsetting Pack. This pack is an Oracle plugin that helps protect sensitive data in non-production environments, including features such as:

  • Shuffle masking: Displaying column entries in a random order (e.g. to obfuscate employee salaries).
  • Encryption: Obfuscating data using a secret cryptographic key that can also decrypt the data.
  • Randomization: Randomly generating data while preserving features such as input length and the position of special characters.

Oracle’s Data Masking and Subsetting Pack is available in Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c. To learn how you can get started, check out the blog post for the full details.

Thinking about getting off 12.1.3 and making the move to Oracle EBS 12.2? Check out our “Oracle EBS 12.2 Upgrade Decision-Making Guide.”

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