Compuware has launched a tool to make it easier for businesses to keep their customer data secure.

According to the company, version 3.1 of its test data management solution, Test Data Privacy, simplifies the creation and disguise of test data in non-production environments, significantly lowering the total cost of an enterprise-wide data privacy implementation.

Joseph Feiman, research fellow at Gartner, said the analyst firm is seeing more data masking procedures implemented in response to recommendations or requirements by regulatory bodies.

“It's important for the enterprise to involve business and compliance experts and application owners in the masking process, because they are the best-qualified to determine what data is and is not sensitive. It's also important that they can define and discover sensitive data enterprise-wide,” he said.

Any accidental or malicious misuse of sensitive information can degrade a business's reputation and its customer relationships, as well as violate corporate policies and present significant legal risks related to non-compliance.

According to Compuware, Test Data Privacy 3.1 allows businesses to securely and cost-effectively test applications using production scenarios and neutralise the risk of a data breach.

New features include a central repository to manage all rules, an eclipse-based user interface, simplified disguise techniques and role-based authorisation. Meanwhile, rules defined in the repository will produce consistent data disguise results when applied to fields of different data types and lengths.

Stuart Feravich, worldwide solution leader of test data management at Compuware, said: “Companies are under competitive pressure to shorten time-to-market results for delivering high-quality applications, while complying with evolving legislation protecting personal information.

“Test Data Privacy 3.1 raises data disguise to the level specified in privacy legislation, enabling compliance departments to monitor progress while reducing the burden of implementation and maintenance from IT.”