In our increasingly digital world, privacy and data security are at the heart of business operations and customer relationships.
In order to protect the identity of citizens and reduce piracy, a new law entered into force on 25 May, 2018 in Europe: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All indications are that the same type of settlement is also expected to see the light of day in North America.
It is a vast law but one aspect of it is that it requires any company, in Europe or elsewhere, that processes the personal data of European customers, to demonstrate their ability to protect their confidential information as soon as data is transferred/copied outside the production environment for training purposes, development or testing by anonymizing the data.
The anonymization of data is a process that makes it possible to transform personal data irreversibly, in order to make it impossible to identify the persons concerned. It ensures that there is no way to link the data to their owners.
Thus, as soon as the data is transferred from one system to another, whether internally or to a third party, it is automatically anonymized even before leaving the production environment. Critical fields, such as credit card numbers and social insurance numbers, are therefore secure.
To enable organizations to meet the requirements of the GDPR and maintain the trust of their customers, Syncsort (formerly Traders), a specialist in cross-platform solutions, designed the Quick-Anonymizer software for IBM i (AS/400) systems.
This software is based on two pre-existing Trader’s software. First, the Quick-EDD solution that allows automatic data replication between two IBM i systems for disaster recovery, training, development or testing.
The second software, Quick-SmartData, allows data to be transferred between different platforms, such as AS/400, Linux and Windows. This application is very useful for clients that are active on the Web and whose database is on AS/400, but whose front-end server is hosted on Windows. Once again, the transactions that take place between the two platforms can be anonymized with the addition of the Quick-Anonymizer.
Quick-Anonymizer offers various anonymization techniques to substitute personal data with other values that have nothing to do with the original ones.
The solutions used all aim to replace source data with data of the same format, length and type. For example, a credit card number can be replaced by asterisks or blanks, or randomly mixed.
Although the transferred data is at first glance illegible, the data format remains consistent to allow its use for training purposes, development on test. This process is therefore extremely safe.
Quick-Anonymizer is very easy to use. It has an intuitive graphical interface to apply different rules of anonymization according to the needs of users. It offers a set of features, such as the selection of data to be processed and fields to anonymize, as well as the desired anonymization method.
Once the files, fields and techniques have been identified, the installation, configuration and operation of the software is easy, fast and efficient.
Although a data protection law is not yet in force in Canada, it is a safe bet that we will not have to wait very long before we see our own version. It is essential to prepare for this eventuality.
It should also be noted that Canadian companies that process the personal data of European customers are subject to the GDPR.
In addition, consumer confidence is increasingly shaken by data leaks that regularly make headlines. They will be all the more motivated to deal with companies that have the software and methods to protect their personal information.
The right use of technology addresses business challenges and drives business growth in all areas of an enterprise. We hope this blog will offer insight into developing strategies and tactics to enable you to identify those key drivers of growth and keep pace with and anticipate the rapid technology change of today.