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IRI Upgrades Data Masking Software for DBs, Files, and Big Data Streams

FieldShield 5 and DarkShield 4 Find and Mask More PII

Innovative Routines International (IRI), Inc., a leader in Big Data management and data-centric security, has announced major new versions of its core data masking software for privacy law compliance, breach nullification, and test data provisioning. Specifically, IRI FieldShield and DarkShield — which are featured in Gartner’s annual market guides for data masking technologies and other industry reports — can now profile and protect personally identifiable information (PII) in more data sources and silos.

FieldShield 5 adds support for Excel, allowing data masking to and from spreadsheets, and between other structured sources like database tables and flat files. FieldShield 5 also integrates with Azure Key Vault and Townsend Alliance Key Manager to handle encryption keys. Additionally, the data profiling and search wizards in the IRI Workbench development environment for FieldShield now display interactive dashboards that meaningfully represent PII values and locations.

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DarkShield 4 adds support for simultaneous data searching and masking in relational and NoSQL databases, including Hive, MongoDB, Oracle 19c, Snowflake and Elasticsearch. According to IRI CTO Don Purnhagen, “DarkShield can locate and mask PII found in complex key-value pairs and arrays, free-form text, and embedded documents or images in RDB columns or NoSQL collections.” Either FieldShield or DarkShield can be used for atomic, structured column values.

Because FieldShield and DarkShield share common data classes and masking functions, they can be used interchangeably to consistently mask, and optionally reveal data in multiple data sources. Their search results can also be exported to SIEM tools like Splunk Enterprise Security.

Finally, DarkShield now offers a “RESTful” Application Programming Interface (API) built on a web services layer. The API, which can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, can perform search and masking operations “as a service” on unstructured text and files received from third-party programs.

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IRI Data Masking Software History

First released in 2011, FieldShield is IRI’s original product for protecting sensitive data in structured data sources. It directly leverages the big data movement and manipulation engine and 4GL job control syntax of CoSort called SortCL. FieldShield is  metadata compatible with IRI RowGen test data and IRI Voracity DB subsetting, ETL, cleansing, and reporting jobs.

DarkShield was introduced in 2017 to address data in semi- and unstructured sources, but also supports structured data sources. Unlike FieldShield, DarkShield can find and mask PII in multiple sources simultaneously, but it does not have the data integration and remapping capability of SortCL-driven FieldShield jobs.

Earlier this year, IRI began shipping the 2nd generation of CellShield Personal and Enterprise editions to improve the ergonomics, automation, and auditability of sensitive data searching and masking operations in local Excel or Microsoft 365 spreadsheets.

IRI also offers Data Masking as a Service (DMaaS) for sites that require data classification, searching, masking, and auditing capabilities, but prefer not to configure or maintain the solution.

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