Feeds

Crash test dummies

UK firm put valid data into prototype systems

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Many firms are using live customer data to test applications.

Almost half (44 per cent) quizzed in a UK survey admitted they used valid information to run systems through their paces, a practice that leaves them potentially liable under the Data Protection Act (DPA), which prohibits organisations from using data for purposes other than those for which it was collected.

The survey, of 100 IT directors, commissioned by enterprise software firm Compuware, found ignorance about data protection legislation was rife among IT directors. Although the DPA was set up in 1998, 48 per cent of senior IT decision makers admitted to only being "vaguely familiar" with the legislation.

Compuware reckons data privacy issues have grown harder for organisations to manage over recent years with the greater use of outsourcing.

"Unless they [enterprises] have rigorous procedures in place, they run the risk of live data being leaked to third parties. This can have severe repercussions on customer confidence and company reputation, and ultimately affect the bottom line," Compuware worldwide enterprise solutions director Ian Clarke said.

The common sense answer to data protection concerns is to use fictional data. However, desensitising data might invalidate some data input fields so an application is not properly tested. Compuware suggests a better approach is to disguise data by exchanging known values, such as addresses, with dummy data in the same format. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.