Risk
7/9/2009
11:33 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

IBM To Patent Data Mask

Big Blue's MAGEN system uses optical character recognition to selectively scramble sensitive onscreen information such as healthcare or financial records.

IBM said Thursday that it has filed for patents on a new technology that can selectively hide data contained in files that hold sensitive information such as healthcare or financial records.

IBM's Masking Gateway for Enterprises (MAGEN) was developed in the company's labs in Haifa, Israel. Magen is the Hebrew word for "shield".

The system differs from other data masking products in that it does not make changes to the data file itself. Rather, it treats onscreen information as a picture and uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to render parts of the image that are deemed sensitive unreadable.

"This results in an extremely fast and flexible system," IBM said. "If companies had to create and store modified copies, the process would be relatively expensive and slow," Big Blue added.

IBM said MAGEN is only at the proof-of-concept stage, but sees big potential for the technology in a business world that is becoming increasingly regulated.

For instance, the technology could be used to prevent workers at a claims processing center from viewing patient healthcare data while still being able to access the information needed to put through an insurance claim.

"MAGEN's screen masking approach eliminates the need to painstakingly tailor 'data masking' solutions to specific environments," said Haim Nelken, manager for Integration Technologies at IBM Haifa, in a statement. "The bottom line is faster performance, simpler database security, and reduced costs for protecting sensitive data," said Nelken.

IBM has filed for patents on two aspects of MAGEN. One for what the company calls "unique ways of manipulating images," and the other for a word scrambling system.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on data-loss prevention. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0485
Published: 2014-09-02
S3QL 1.18.1 and earlier uses the pickle Python module unsafely, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted serialized object in (1) common.py or (2) local.py in backends/.

CVE-2014-3861
Published: 2014-09-02
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in CDA.xsl in HL7 C-CDA 1.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted reference element within a nonXMLBody element.

CVE-2014-3862
Published: 2014-09-02
CDA.xsl in HL7 C-CDA 1.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover potentially sensitive URLs via a crafted reference element that triggers creation of an IMG element with an arbitrary URL in its SRC attribute, leading to information disclosure in a Referer log.

CVE-2014-5076
Published: 2014-09-02
The La Banque Postale application before 3.2.6 for Android does not prevent the launching of an activity by a component of another application, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive cached banking information via crafted intents, as demonstrated by the drozer framework.

CVE-2014-5136
Published: 2014-09-02
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Innovative Interfaces Sierra Library Services Platform 1.2_3 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.