Skip to Content
Skip to Content

How To Secure Your Sandbox Data with Data Mask

Read how Salesforce Data Mask anonymizes and deletes private data from your sandbox environments so you can rest assured that your customers’ data is kept private and confidential.

Data Mask logo

This week at Dreamforce ‘19, we announced Salesforce Data Mask — a new tool to help you customize, build, and test on Salesforce while protecting private data. Data Mask anonymizes and deletes private data from your sandbox environments so you can test with high fidelity substitute data and rest assured that your customers’ data is kept private and confidential.

Why do you need to secure sandbox data?

In recent years, new regulations such as the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require companies to evaluate their technical and organizational controls to ensure compliance. Industry-specific standards and regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) also include strict privacy and security requirements.

Data governance issues can cause significant repercussions for your business, including loss of customer trust and legal consequences, including regulatory fines. GDPR infractions alone can lead to fines of up to 4% of annual global revenues, or $20 million, whichever is greater.

With these complex privacy requirements in mind, we systematically address privacy-related systems and processes, including where private data resides, how and when it moves, and who has access to it and when. While we often think of security and compliance in the context of production software deployments, it is equally important to think about the application development process. This is where Salesforce Data Mask comes in.

Data Mask secures data in three ways

Instead of manually securing data and access for sandbox orgs, Salesforce Data Mask automatically masks private data in sandboxes. Data Mask uses a fully platform-native approach to mask private data without taking data out of Salesforce or introducing external dependencies.

Data Mask works behind-the-scenes in three ways:

  1. Anonymization — or making the data anonymous — scrambles a field’s contents into unreadable results. For example, Blake becomes gB1ff95-$.
  2. Pseudonymization converts a field into readable values unrelated to the original value. For example, Kelsey becomes Amber.
  3. Deletion converts a field into an empty data set.

Salesforce Data Mask uses nondeterministic obfuscation, meaning that you cannot unmask the data even if you try to reverse engineer the approach or use statistical inference attacks to attempt to maliciously hack the data.

Learn more about sandbox security at Dreamforce ‘19

With new data privacy regulations, protecting confidential customer data is extremely important for admins and developers to consider. Sandbox environments are one place where strict data privacy protocols often get overlooked.

That’s where Data Mask can help to ensure your private production data remains private. As a managed package that you install in your Salesforce production environment, Data Mask lets you hide sensitive information in three different ways, depending on your specific needs. 

Data Mask will be generally available next month and will be highlighted at several sessions during Dreamforce ‘19 if you’d like to learn more:

Angelos Kottas is vice president, product marketing for Platform. Kottas focuses on a broad set of platform technologies. Previously he led product marketing and product management teams in cloud services and enterprise security. He’s a technology marketing leader who loves putting his product management background and computer science degree to work.

More by Angelos

Related Stories

A man stands below a MuleSoft sign: What is MuleSoft

What Is MuleSoft?

IT teams are too bogged down with routine requests. MuleSoft automates routine work and integrates systems to free up time and move your company forward.


Get the latest articles in your inbox.

Get the latest articles in your inbox.

Enter a valid e-mail address
Select your Country
Select a state
Please read and agree to the Master Subscription Agreement

Yes, I would like to receive the Salesforce Weekly Brief as well as marketing communications regarding Salesforce products, services, and events. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Salesforce values your privacy. To learn more, visit our Privacy Statement.