Feeds

Crash test dummies

UK firm put valid data into prototype systems

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.