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Data hiding

Data hiding

(also information hiding, data concealment)

Data hiding definition

Data hiding is the practice of concealing information within other data, structures, or media to prevent unauthorized users from detecting or accessing the information. Users can apply data hiding across various domains and contexts, including information hiding in programming, invisible ink, digital art and design, and cybersecurity. For instance, data hiding can protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, tampering, or theft, ensure privacy, or even maintain intellectual property rights.

See also: information hiding, generic routing encapsulation

Data hiding benefits

  • Ensures confidentiality of sensitive data in cyberspace.
  • Prevents unauthorized access to private information.
  • Mitigates risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.
  • Facilitates secure communication channels.
  • Protects digital assets and intellectual property.
  • Bolsters authentication and verification processes.
  • Enhances the organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.

Data hiding techniques

  • Encryption. It utilizes cryptographic algorithms to convert data into ciphertext, making it unreadable to parties without the correct decryption key. Encryption ensures that only authorized users with the correct key can access the original version of the data.
  • Steganography. It refers to hiding information within other data or media, such as images, audio files, or videos. Since hackers cannot assume the specific embedding method, they cannot detect the hidden data.
  • Obfuscation. This method alters the data structure, format, or logic to make data more difficult to understand, therefore protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access or tampering.
  • Data masking. It refers to replacing sensitive information with fictional or scrambled data that maintains the same structure and format.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security