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New Research Reveals Financial Data At Serious Risk During Application Development


Ponemon Institute’s “Financial Data at Risk in Development: A Call for Data Masking” Highlights Exposure and Offers Solutions for Financial Services Organizations

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - News Facts:

- Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA), the world’s number one independent leader in data integration software, today announced the availability of a financial services industry research report by the Ponemon Institute entitled Financial Data at Risk in Development: A Call for Data Masking.
- The Informatica-sponsored report builds on previous research by Ponemon where 31% of surveyed customers indicated they would switch financial institutions should their personal information become compromised by a data breach.
- Ponemon’s report reveals a pervasive use by financial institutions of real data in their application development and testing activities. It details how this is exposing them to the twin risk of costly non-compliance to specific regulations like Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Massachusetts Data Privacy Act (201 CMR 17),and customer churn and provides guidelines for reducing this exposure – including the vital practice of masking and securing live data.
- Key research findings, based on a survey of more than 430 financial services IT professionals, include:
-- Widespread exposure of sensitive data – 84% of respondents’ organizations use real customer information during software development and test, 70% use consumer data, and 51% use credit, debit or other payment information.
-- Data protection is far from pervasive– Despite the data’s sensitivity, 45% do not protect real data used in development and testing.
-- Breaches are commonplace– 38% have had a breach involving real data in a development and test environment and 12% are unsure if they have had a breach or not.
-- Consequences are high – 54% of those experiencing a breach said it resulted in disruption of operations, 39% experienced customer churn, and 35% lost revenues.
-- Most organizations wouldn’t know if data was lost or stolen– 75% are not confident or else are un-decided as to whether their organization could even detect the theft or accidental loss of real data in development or test.
-- Outsourcing and cloud computing increase the security risk – Outsourcing development and test activities and/or using cloud-computing resources introduce additional risk factors, which frequently prevent financial organizations from turning to these potentially advantageous resources. Of those that outsource development or test, 51% share real data with third-parties, while 35% do not outsource due to security concerns. Meanwhile, 41% use cloud resources for development and test, but only 25% are confident or very confident about security in a cloud environment.

- Given the high rates of real data used in financial industry development and test environments, Ponemon Institute recommends immediate actions to ensure customer privacy including:
-- Centralized executive oversight – Create a single point of executive-level responsibility coupled with policies and procedures for safeguarding your organization’s real data in non-production environments.
-- Data masking – Invest in key technologies including tools to “transform or mask sensitive or confidential data without diminishing the richness of the data necessary for successful testing and development.”

- Data masking helps safeguard sensitive, private or confidential data such as personally identifiable information (PII) or payment card information detailed in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) by masking it in-flight or in-place. As a result, fully functional, real data sets can be used safely in development, test and other non-production environments, as well as in outsourcing, offshore or cloud computing environments.
- With Informatica Data Masking, private data is de-identified using techniques and algorithms that obfuscate the original data, and the masked data retains its original format and properties so that applications function properly during development and test activities.

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- “Financial services organizations are among the most highly regulated and risk-aware enterprises in the world, yet a mere 34 percent of respondents believe that their organization is successful at protecting customer privacy in application development and test environments,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “It is our hope that Financial Data at Risk in Development: A Call for Data Masking will help alert the industry to the risks they are facing in using unprotected data in development, while pointing the way towards a set of fairly easily implemented procedural and technical solutions.”
- “Financial institutions are not alone in inadequately protecting sensitive data during their development and test activities, but they certainly face greater risks and tighter regulation than most types of organizations,” said Adam Wilson, general manager, Application Information Lifecycle Management, Informatica. “To manage this risk and ensure on-going compliance, some of the largest financial services companies in the world have standardized on Informatica Data Masking to extend their data security program beyond their production applications. This ensures the ever exploding number of copies that are kept for development, testing, training, and for regulatory reporting are appropriately de-identified.

About Informatica
Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA) is the world’s number one independent provider of data integration software. Organizations around the world turn to Informatica to gain a competitive advantage in today’s global information economy with timely, relevant and trustworthy data for their top business imperatives. Worldwide, over 4,350 enterprises rely on Informatica for data integration and data quality solutions to access, integrate and trust their information assets held in the traditional enterprise, off premise and in the Cloud. For more information, call +1 650-385-5000 (1-800-653-3871 in the U.S.), or visit Connect with Informatica at, and


Note: Informatica and Informatica Data Masking are trademarks or registered trademarks of Informatica Corporation in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company and product names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.


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