Risk
7/9/2009
11:33 AM
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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: So...are we supposed to be the elves or the reindeer?
Current Issue
Five Things Every Business Executive Should Know About Cybersecurity
Don't get lost in security's technical minutiae - a clearer picture of what's at stake can help align business imperatives with technology execution.
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.