Can anyone help me explain on what basis 'Data Migration Assessment' features recommendation suggests for Dynamic Data Masking and displays certain objects/tables columns for masking. On what basis DMA identifies those columns for vulnerabilities.

Is there any set algorithm for identification or is it simply based on the name of the column?

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Please comment in case of any more details or clarification required for the question.


From what I understand, DMA looks at the column names and tables for keywords that would hold PII, Sensitive Data (such as logins, passwords, etc.), or other unique data attributes. If it finds anything then it should mark it for both dynamic data masking and always encrypted.

If you change the name of the column to not have easily identifiable keywords, the recommendation should not show up for that column/table.

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  • Then how should we discover sensitive columns in SQL Server? Is there any tool available for that? Or any algorithm through TSQL? – Shaurya S Jul 27 '19 at 15:49
  • @ShauryaS That is what DMA is doing as a tool... If you want do to more, then you'll have to make something tailored to what you're looking for. – Sean Gallardy - Retired User Jul 27 '19 at 16:06

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