Automating Data Obfuscation to Eliminate Risk and Minimize Cost

Providing representative data in a leaner, more cost-effective way for a nationwide health service. 
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National Health Service Trust

The Challenge

Rapidly obfuscate large volumes of highly sensitive data to be securely accessed by internationally-based testing teams without breaching foreign governance.

The Outcome

Test data was created in minutes to minimize the risk of sensitive data being accessed by non-authorized personnel. Testing teams could now prioritize mission-critical tasks.

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Health Sector Digital Transformation

Digital transformation within the public sector is perpetually challenging – especially when handling highly sensitive and confidential data held within the National Health Service. This data must be obfuscated at scale, to allow new systems to be robustly tested and completed at speed.

The problem, however, is that manual obfuscation is not only time-consuming and expensive, but prone to human error.

It can cause whole digital transformation projects to grind to a halt. 

The NHS worked with Capita using its backbone application system supporting primary care.

However, the challenges of manual obfuscation of testing were amplified by a dispersed testing team.

Therefore, the obfuscation process in place was inconsistent and caused a bottleneck when new production data was made available to the test team. This meant the project was running significantly behind schedule as the risk increased…



The IDS solution perfectly complements our value-added proposition to our customers providing an automated approach to data transformation and test automation.

Emma O’Brien, CEO, Embridge Consulting



Excellent collaboration as always. The resource supplied was ideal for our requirements.

Paul Turner, Test Manager, Irwin Mitchell LLP



We've been working continuously with IDS across a wide range of scenarios. They have a 'can do' attitude and were flexible around our needs. We like their technical expertise, friendly approach and open communication, helping get things done.

Matt Robson, Executive Director, TSG



There aren't many organizations who specialize in fixing problems in data management and test automation. That's what makes IDS unique.

Joanne Bowden, Group IT Director, Premex



IDS are able to scale what clients need. There's a level of confidence and that's down to James and the team.

Kaljit Virdee, Senior Project Manager, University of Leeds



IDS' experiences, abilities and impressive client engagements demonstrate an incredible skill in QA, testing and data, which will prove to be extremely valuable for our current and future customers.

David Binns, Partner Alliances Manager, Tricentis


"70% of testing effort is made of test preparation and 30% is consumed by preparing test data."

Large volumes of representative data were required to satisfy the large digital transformation programme’s testing requirements. But, with test teams located around the world, access to representative data for testing purposes was proving an impossible challenge.

Test teams were struggling to keep up with the delivery of new and updated systems to provide the required volume of obfuscated test data to satisfy testing needs with each new data drop.

When IDS arrived, the existing team had 20-30 man days to carry out manual obfuscation. This was not only prone to error, but expensive and unsustainable.

IDS was tasked with implementing a mechanism to rapidly obfuscate production data ensuring all sensitive data was adequately replaced, with no route back to its original state.

Given the critical nature of the data being shared with the programme, a highly repeatable solution was required to mitigate the inherent risk associated with handling sensitive and critical data in large volumes.

This is when iData came in.

The toolkit’s full range of capabilities and how it worked to deliver quality obfuscated test data with efficiency is revealed in the PDF below: