A-Z Popular Blog Security Search »
Information Security
Related Guides

What is Data Masking?

 , updated on
Data masking is the process of replacing real data with structurally similar fake data for purposes such as testing and training. Creating test data from scratch is extremely resource intensive and may result in data that doesn't reflect production realities. As such, it is common for organizations to use real data for testing. Data masking is typically used to remove anything personally identifiable or confidential in data.


Data masking is useful when the structure of the data needs to remain so that the data can be used for testing or training. For example, a phone number such as 000-000-000 may pass validations. In this example, an encrypted phone number or null phone number may cause application errors.


Data masking seeks to create outputs that are irreversible. Techniques such as encryption are difficult to reverse but often change the structure of data such that it no longer passes validations in applications. Data masking may use algorithms for shuffling and substitution that are designed to be difficult to reverse but maintain strict data formats.
Overview: Data Masking
The process of replacing valid data with fake data for purposes such as testing and training.
Protecting personally identifiable and business confidential information.
Also Known As
Data redaction
Related Concepts

Information Security

This is the complete list of articles we have written about information security.
Audit Trail
Canary Trap
Confidential Information
Critical Infrastructure
Cryptographic Keys
Cryptographic Salt
Cybersecurity Risk
Data Breach
Data Remanence
Data Room
Data Security
Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
Digital Identity
Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
IoT Security
Key Stretching
Network Security
Operations Security
Overlay Network
Password Entropy
Password Fatigue
Proof Of Work
Secure Code Review
Security As A Service
Security Controls
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Data Security

A list of common data security techniques.

Data Remanence

An overview of data remanence.

Delete vs Wipe

The difference between deleting data and wiping it.

Data Masking vs Redaction

The difference between data masking and redaction.


A definition of degaussing as a data security technique.

Data Control

A definition of data control with examples.

Data States

An overview of the three data states.

Personal Data

Examples of the common types of personal data.

Cybersecurity Risk

An overview of cybersecurity risk at the organizational level.

Confidential Information

An overview of confidential information with examples.


An overview of data with a list of examples.

Types Of Data

The basic types of data.

Dark Data

The definition of dark data with examples.

Data Massage

The mysteries of data massage.

Data Definition

Several useful definitions of data.


A definition of analytics with examples.

Data vs Information

The difference between data and information.

Hard Data vs Soft Data

The difference between hard data and soft data.

Human Readable

A definition of human readable.

Data Loss

The common types of data loss.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map