What is Data Scrambling?


Some companies have long wondered what data scrambling is. Data scrambling is the process of deleting or obfuscating confidential data, a method that is normally carried out by database administrators who want to preserve the confidentiality of the data. This process is irreversible so that the original data cannot be obtained from the scrambled data.

The main characteristic of this type of techniques is that it is an irreversible randomization process, which does not permit the detachment of original data from coded data. Generally, the same coding parameters are used for multiple cloning processes.

Data Scrambling Techniques

Scrambling techniques can be classified into two groups:

  • Additive Scrambling: Scramblers tend to use modulo-2 addition to transform the input data stream and attain synchronization of both ends by using a sync-word. A specific pattern is placed at the beginning of each frame that’s being sent and can be decrypted only by the receiver.
  • Multiplicative (Self-Synchronizing) Scrambling: Multiplicative scramblers implement a multiplication between the input signal and the scrambler transfer function. This type of scrambling is also referred to as self-synchronizing scrambling because it does not need a sync-word for synchronization.

Data Scrambling and Security

The amount of digitized content is increasing rapidly, and therefore, data protection has turned into a significant issue to deal with, as relevant as encoding techniques implemented to achieve desirable security. Scrambling is a significantly well-known and effective security technique as it’s applied to most communication forms.

The formal name of the scrambling process is encryption, which applies the function that alters the scope of data to be protected before transmitted. Modern encryption includes algorithms that are based on complex mathematical functions making it extremely difficult or even impossible to reverse the scrambled data. Encryption has come to meet the company’s need for confidentiality. However, integrity is also a significant issue that data encryption successfully deals with.  Furthermore, encryption and data scrambling are integral components of protocols that allow security while executing a system, network, or communication task.

Data scrambling protects your most valuable assets through data anonymization, which makes it challenging to identify a particular individual from stored data related to him/her, something that is achieved based on techniques such as hashing, data encryption, or pseudonymization.

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