What is Oracle Data Redaction?

What is Oracle Data Redaction?

Oracle Data Redaction is a technological system that allows data masking or redaction on a database. With this system, users can mask their data and protect it from data breaches.

Oracle Data Redaction is often confused with Transparent Data Encryption, but this is a misconception. Oracle Data Redaction does not perform data masking through a physical reaction. The encryption process is performed based on specific rules and user-focused. These rules are governed by ‘DBMS_REDACT.’ In other words, the data is stored in its ‘raw’ format.

The working principle of this system can be explained as follows: In certain applications, sensitive information should not be visible to both users and application owners. Examples of such sensitive information include credit card numbers and social security numbers. In this process, the features of the Oracle Data Redaction system are utilized.

There are four different methods that users can employ to perform Data Redaction. These methods can be summarized as follows:

Full Redaction: It refers to the management of all existing data in the system.
Partial Redaction: It involves managing only a portion of the existing data. An example is representing a part of a 16-digit credit card number with the ‘*’ character.
Regular Expressions: It is the manipulation of character data types only.
Random Redaction: This method can be applied to any data type. The data in the column is displayed in a randomized manner whenever requested.

Using Oracle Data Redaction technology to protect data provides several benefits in various areas. Firstly, there is the ability to choose among different redaction styles. Additionally, centrally managing data redaction policies is a convenient situation.

On the other hand, certain considerations should be taken into account when using Data Redaction. So what are these? Here are the details:

Do not include the ‘GROUP BY’ clause in columns where Oracle Data Redaction is applied. If done so, the ‘ORA-00979’ error will be encountered.
Similarly, the ‘DISTINCT’ clause should not be used. Otherwise, the ‘ORA-01791’ error will be encountered.
Oracle Data Redaction is not applied to certain columns. One of these is the ‘JSON’ column. If applied, the ‘ORA-28073’ error will be received.
Some data types are not supported. GRAPHIC, LONG VARGRAPHIC, and VARGRAPHIC are examples of these.

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