Tools for data masking are widely available. However, this does not mean that they are widely deployed. In a recent (2011) survey conducted by Bloor Research into data migration, one of the questions we asked was with respect to how users were coping with privacy issues that arose during data migration processes. Over 70% of respondents used manual methods for masking and just under 10% ignored the problem completely. That is, they broke the law. Less than 20% used a tool for data masking.
This paper argues that using manual methods for data masking will typically be inadequate, is time consuming and costly. While we will discuss data masking specifically with respect to the offering made by Grid-Tools, the arguments in favour of tools for this purpose go beyond that of any particular product, though our discussion of what is available from Grid-Tools will describe the sort of facilities that should be looked for in a data masking product.