IBM is patenting a new technology for masking sensitive data, according to InformationWeek. The technology is called MAGEN (Masking Gateway for Enterprises) and was developed in IBM labs in Israel. Unlike other products, this system doesn't change the file. Rather, it scrambles the image of the data on one's screen so that it becomes unrecognizable. "If companies had to create and store modified copies, the process would be relatively expensive and slow," said IBM. This technology can be especially useful in businesses that handle a significant amount of confidential customer data, such as healthcare companies.

Curt Finch is the author of a project management book and lives in Texas.