Businesses rely on personal data to better tailor their approach to customer relations and streamline a marketing strategy suited to their target audience. In today's business climate, holding onto the personally identifiable information (PII) of specific individuals for various marketing and customer services purposes requires secure storage and extraction.

PII pseudonymization is the latest and greatest method for protecting personal data.

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Table of Contents

  1. What is PII?
  2. What is PII Pseudonymization?
  3. The Importance of Pseudonymization for Companies
  4. Using PII Pseudonymization with ETL
  5. Summary
  6. How Xplenty Can Help

What is PII?

PII is the acronym for "personally identifiable information." This is confidential information governed by compliance protocols.

Some regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) require certain information to be protected, and compliance is a big concern for companies in possession of this information. Personally, identifiable information can include the following:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Nationality and ethnicity
  • Age
  • Work and education history
  • Biometric data
  • Health data

These are a few of the most common PII. However, PII can comprise any information that can identify an individual. Criminals seek this information for various purposes, usually those related to identity theft.

PII is usually the subject of security breaches, so you must adequately protect it to ensure the safety of individuals' personal details or you could face fines and other penalties. This is where substitution, or pseudonymization, comes in.

What is PII Pseudonymization?

Pseudonymization allows ETL to mask sensitive and regulated data with a higher level of security to ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands or risk exposure. PII pseudonymization is the process of replacing the identifiers of personal information with artificial identifiers.

Simply put, false or fictional information masks the real data related to real people to prevent the direct tracing of these individuals. The false information details are "pseudonyms," thus the term "pseudonymization of information."

There are a few methods for de-identifying information or using data pseudonymization to protect PII effectively. However, it's important to note that poorly executed pseudonymization won't be of any help at all, so it's crucial to do it correctly, using the proper methods and techniques.

This process is essential for effectively preventing cyber criminals from accessing sensitive information.

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The Importance of PII Pseudonymization for Companies

The number of security and data breaches annually is staggering. As criminals become more advanced, so too must the technology and security strategies of companies. Every company in possession of PII should use PII pseudonymization to protect their reputation and prevent costly data breaches.

Whether a data breach is the result of an internal error that accidentally exposed PII or it's an attack from cybercriminals, this process is the best way to protect information and ensure companies remain compliant and avoid stiff penalties.

Using PII Pseudonymization with ETL

The process of pseudonymization of information requires coding that serves to generate false or fictional data. Coders use a few methods to create this information at a pre-determined point. It ensures PII stays masked or protected within the ETL process. When PII undergoes the ETL process, it's much safer and more secure when it's pseudonymized.

Summary

You must take steps to shield PII from visibility during the ETL process. This ensures that cybercriminals and unauthorized employees alike will not be able to decipher the data should they get their hands on it. The process of PII substitution or PII pseudonymization plays a critical role in protecting PII and staying compliant.

The best way to ensure a high level of security is to team up with a company specializing in data management. It will have the tools, information, know-how, and ability to offer advanced protection and increase security for all sensitive company data.

How Xplenty can Help

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Xplenty is a top cloud-based ETL solution for companies that want to provide better processes for their business. We offer simple solutions for automated data flows, which include a high level of security and user-friendly features.

Users can quickly transform, clean, and normalize data, and create avenues for staying compliant by using PII pseudonymization through the ETL process. Our wide range of options lets you tailor our services to your individual needs.

Find out how Xplenty can help you better your ETL and keep your PII safe. Sign up today for a 14-day demo and experience the benefits of teaming up with Xplenty.