Skip to main content

Format Preserve Masking (FPM)

The Format Preserve Masking (FPM) inserts a random value that preserves the format of the original data.

Don’t use Format Preserve Masking (FPM) on columns of unique values unless the possible number of potential random values is large. For example, if a column contains only unique 2-digit numbers, the pool of potential values is only 99. With such a small possible number of replacement values, the FPM masking will generate duplicate values.

When you apply FPM to a column with unique values, DgMasking monitors the number of "collisions" (duplicate values) produced. Once 20 duplicate values are created, DgMasking stops attempting to apply the mask and skip the column entirely.

The Format Preserve Masking is suitable when:

  1. The number of characters or the length of the field is not changed.

  2. Capital letters are masked with random capital letters.

  3. Small letters are masked with random small letters.

  4. Digits are masked with random digits.

  5. Special characters are left as it.

The FPM masking is suitable for structured data with two exceptions:

  1. If business rules constrain the value or some part of the value. For example, if business rules require a telephone number to have a valid area code and exchange, then FPM is not a good masking choice. Instead, consider using the Random masking option, which generates random but valid data for common sensitive types such as telephone, credit card, and Social Security numbers. For non-standard sensitive types, consider using the Regular Expression mask, which allows you to apply any necessary constraints.

  2. If the data in the masked column will be analyzed. Random input would render any analysis meaningless. Instead, consider using the Shuffle mask.

FPM supports masking in a variety of European Languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, and Polish.

To have a global consistency across different data sources (SQL, Oracle, etc.) having same set of data, use Format Preserve Masking.

To apply FPM protection option, do the following:

  1. Select a Format Preserving Masking algorithm from the Algo Type drop-down. It is recommended to use the latest Algo Type.

  2. The Language drop-down lets you opt for different languages based on which random masking value is generated. There are 13 different languages in which values are generated.

E.g., With reference to below image, if you want to mask the data in Emp_Name, Phone and Email_ID column in such a way that the masked value produces same format but meaningless data. For such scenarios, use FPM masking option. This option retains the format of the data.

Here, we have applied the FPM masking in all three columns such that:

  1. The data in Emp_Name is masked using FPM Spanish language.

  2. Phone data is masked using FPM Multilingual language.

  3. Email_ID data is masked using FPM English language.

The final output displays the masked characters in the target table. In the below image, you’ll notice that the data in all three columns has been masked with random meaningless characters and numbers. For Instance, the contacts in phone column have been replaced by digits only. The data in Emp_Name & Email_ID  has been replaced by random meaningless names and email IDs.

The name of employee with an Emp_cd Dg02048’ has been masked with value ‘Wgdjy Hjn’ whose original value in the emp_name field was ‘Jonas Jim’. Similarly, the original data for phone and email ID has also been masked.

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.