Obfuscate – to make less clear.

 

Love the word! It’s fun to say. Now there may be some negative connotations with this word, especially in contemporary times. Alternative facts, cell phone bills, my kids’ response to “what homework do you have to do tonight?” and anything coming out of congress comes to mind as having some aspects of obfuscation to them. However, let’s invoke the holiday spirit and be positive. Making things less clear can be a good thing. Especially when it comes to data.

 

Encryption isn’t the only way to obfuscate data. Obfuscation is a word I learned near the beginning of my IT tenure. It was used in conjunction with redacting (another great word) sensitive data when it leaves production to be replicated to another environment. See, I worked at a company that primarily did D.O.D. type contracts, so we’d get audited on such things. Too often, we don’t think about all of the attack vectors those that want our data can take in this pursuit. Think about all of the security breaches we’ve had lately. I’m not saying they successfully got data that was not obfuscated. I am saying that it should be a tool at your disposal in your toolbox for protecting data.

 

I dare you to use it in normal conversation while at work. Chime in with the reaction of those around when you pull this one out of your arsenal.