Masking CRM DATA (de-identifying critical data) RRS feed

  • Question

  • hi,

    I have CRM 2011.

    I am creating a pre prod environment for CRM were we will need to keep refreshing pre prod with data from production

    we need to mask certain data in pre prod (example: names, address ,phone, email,..) for privacy reason

    I would like to know if there is any tool that could be used to mask CRM?

     Or if anyone has the expertise of masking CRM data and can share it?



    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 6:59 PM

All replies

  • You may utilize the field level security feature in CRM 2011 to mask the fields in pre prod environment.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 8:23 PM
  • Hi Marwa,

    If it's just a handful of entities and fields, you could develop a plugin and register it against RetrieveMultiple to mask the necessary fields. The production data would be present in your pre-production environment, but since you'd be restricting them using the Plugin, none of the users would be able to see them and would see the masked data (like xxxx).

    Admin QuikView Solution for CRM 2013

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:45 AM

    Hi Dynamotion,

    Thanks a lot for your reply, but I need to mask the data even in the database.

    The idea is that developers and DBA should not be able to see personal information. I know that I should not update CRM database directory.

    I thought of using SSIS package and update crm fields using sdk but i think it will take time specially that currently we are in rollup 8 (bulk update functionality using web service is in rollup 12)

    Do you know any tool that can be used for masking data in CRM because refreshing Pre prod from production I planned to happen periodically?




    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 5:14 PM
  • Hi Marwa,

    Although there are some data masking utilities available, I haven't come across any that does the masking on the fly from one database from another. They all mask existing data in a database. Since your requirement is to move (copy) data from production to pre-production environment and mask it on the fly, the best approach would be to develop a console application that does the dual job of moving as well as masking data between the two environments. It would be a time consuming task, so it would be best to have it scheduled during non-business hours.

    Admin QuikView Solution for CRM 2013

    Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:47 AM
  • hi,

    I don't need to mask it on the fly. I can copy the database then mask it.

    if you have example of tools that can be used for masking CRM please let me know.

    Thanks  for your fast response


    Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:53 PM
  • If you don't have any business logic you're concerned about, I would literally batch update the SQL database itself (unsupported, yes, but shouldn't break anything in this case). Make your copy of prod, identify the columns that need masking, set up some kind of account uniqueness (AccountName1, AccountName2, etc.) to ensure you don't trip over duplicate detection in CRM, then import that database into dev.

    If you messed up anything masking fields, the database should fail on restore, meaning you'll know in advance if something is wrong.

    The postings on this site are solely my own and do not represent or constitute Hitachi Solutions' positions, views, strategies or opinions.

    Friday, May 16, 2014 1:36 PM

    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your reply, but i have many customizations in CRM and we need to keep the pre prod environment clean and match production.

    We will use it to test our releases before applying it to production.

    Do you know if there are already any tools or any blogs that talk about masking crm database in supported way?



    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 1:48 PM
  • Have you tried looking at a synchronisation tool to map your data between your environments, something like scribe would allow you to change the data for whatever fields you want into asterixs etc in the pre prod environment. Another avenue you could look at is to use the instance adapter with connector and see if you can do the same thing http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=35385
    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:31 PM
  • Your customizations aren't going to be removed by masking data. Take the backup, do the masking, restore to test and you will see all customizations are still there.

    The postings on this site are solely my own and do not represent or constitute Hitachi Solutions' positions, views, strategies or opinions.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014 4:04 PM