Test data and test data management have become more prominent in today's cyber world. With trends such as data visualization, SCRUM and Agile methodologies, artificial intelligence, and big data connectivity, test data has become essential in how company's operate with their technology.
Test data management is the process of creating non-production data with the implication that it will be utilized for rigorous testing and development for future applications. Test data is safer to use than real data when performing said development tests and can significantly reduce the life-cycle time a test-product may need. Furthermore, test data can lower security risks an organization may have during the software development process, can help prevent rollbacks, and can help set forth precedents for any bug-fixes in one's code or application.
Not only are there many benefits for efficient test data management strategies within the cyber security industry, but the benefits may protrude into other departments such as R&D and marketing as well!
One of the major debates about the cyber world pertains to privacy and how much of it one really has. With companies such as Facebook, Google, and Apple using customer data more and more, we know that our once private lives may not be as secret as we think. In their book 'Who Knows; Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World', authors Ann Cavoukian and Don Tapscott discuss how secure certain documents that are supposed to remain private such as medical records and employment history really are.
The truth is with advancements in technology and cyber security, privacy and one's data is more readily available to companies, hackers, and even other ordinary individuals. Some companies make the point that they only use consumer data for our benefit, showing products one may need before they know they need them or memorizing GPS routes if one travels that way constantly. While it's true that our daily lives are significantly improved because our data is being used in this manner, there one question we have to ask ourselves; is having less privacy a fair trade-off for potential everyday life benefts?
One thing is for certain; we should all take measures to make sure our data is as safe as it can be. Limiting who has access to your social media profiles and information, using secure passwords, and not clicking sketchy links are very easy tips and tricks to always keep in mind to make sure your data is really yours.
What Test Data is Being Used Today and by Who?
An organization’s development ecosystem, including technical partners, software development and
contractors have a growing need to access private and confidential data to do their jobs. Relevant data sources are a necessary component of the software development, technical integration, testing, implementation and ongoing operations and maintenance processes and production data sources are commonly accessed and modified for this purpose. Complex, integrated technology solutions can no longer be managed within an organization’s internal operations but requires a large and varied global ecosystem of partners, consultants, technology companies and contractors. There is a similar need for test data within the organizations cyber security operations. It is also common practice for this ecosystem to utilize historical data, captured network traffic and simple network traffic generation technology for testing purposes.