Personal data protection regulation an Achilles heel for test material
PRESS RELEASE March 11, 2017
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in just under one year, on May 25, 2018. The regulation will affect all businesses with a customer information database. It will impose strict and specific rules on companies regarding the use of personal data. Once the regulation takes effect, personal data can only be used in customer service encounters. The consequences for businesses violating the directive will be extremely costly – reaching up to four percent of annual revenue.
The data protection regulation will also complicate testing related to the development of IT solutions for customer databases.
“After the regulation takes effect companies will not be able to use copies of customer information databases as test material for their IT systems, for example. It’s difficult for companies like banks and insurance firms to thoroughly test their systems without real customer data,” said Qentinel Pace product director Kalle Huttunen of Qentinel.
The directive will hit firms providing consumer services the hardest – mainly those operating in the retail, banking, insurance and health care sectors.
“Because of the massive amounts of data, the testing needs of IT systems are greater in these sectors. For years, these sectors have been looking for solutions for using personal data in test situations that comply with the data protection regulation.”
The problem has affected many businesses and has been difficult to resolve.
“We now have a solution that allows us to completely anonymize the confidential information in production databases. By anonymizing we mean for example, changing loyalty customer personal data into a form that will not allow the individual to be identified, while retaining data relating to his or her purchasing history. In this way, test material remains intact and usable from the testing perspective, while at the same time complying with the strict requirements of the data protection regulation,” Huttunen explained.
Test material available in minutes with data virtualization
Massive databases create bottlenecks in organizations’ testing. Getting a copy of the full production database into a test environment requires manual work and the process may take up to several weeks.
“Many organizations have gotten around the problem by using a small sample from the production database in testing — at the expense of test coverage,” Huttunen noted.
“The Delphix tool virtualizes data using patented block sharing technology so that we can have test material at our disposal in minutes instead of weeks. Several test environments can use copies of the same test material without mixing up test data,” Huttunen expanded.
Delphix used in 26 countries
“Delphix is used by large corporations in 26 countries, because their databases must respond to the speed of the business and must work safely,” said Gareth Whiting, Delphix partner director.
“Using Qentinel’s strong expertise and Delphix’s innovative technology, Finnish companies can effectively solve problems relating to the management of testing material. At the same time, companies can roll out applications faster, increase their test cycles by a magnitude of up to 100 and safely test their customer databases while complying with the new European data protection regulation,” Whiting added.
The Delphix tool allows for accelerated test material distribution and the anonymization of sensitive data. At the same time data require less storage space, resulting in savings for businesses. Qentinel offers Delphix as part of its Qentinel Pace solution and is the only Delphix representative in Finland.