For security reasons (and policies) I need to mask the data in my SharePoint 2013 on-premises production environment, so: 1) In case of an unauthorized user obtains a site backup and restored it in another environment it will just read scrambled data. 2) It has to provide Column Level Security, so we can select different kind of users to read the real list content and the others will read a mask like "***" or will read the field just empty.

An ideal tool will be the one that masks the data at real-time, by changing the data stream on the fly so that the data requester does not get access to the sensitive data, while no physical changes to the original production data take place, by reading some comments this is provided by SQL 2016, but we only have SQL 2014 licensed, so if you can recommand me a tool for this SQL version will be great.

I haven't found any Microsoft solution nor a Third Party one for the column level security.

Is there any alternative?

  • What kind of data, just lists? Reminds me of performancepoint's per-user context that will not only have a security level at the site, but also from the database level--using SSAS
    – Mike
    Apr 12, 2016 at 23:58
  • basically I need to scramble the list content on a per-field basis. Apr 13, 2016 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


SQL has Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) built in that encrypts the data at rest in the SQL database and backups. Unless you have the key you can't just mount the database (whether live or from backup) and get to the data.

Most 3rd party backup and archive platforms support some form of encryption as well to protect backups.

For more advanced data level encryption you can consider Rights Management or Azure Rights Management. I would use these in combination with SQL TDE, as I believe (at least used to be) that IRM was only applied when coming out so things like Search could continue to work. Once IRM is applied to a document - if you don't have rights to it you can't read it and the protection follows the document. I recommend the Azure service over the on-prem as it gives you more options, you don't have worry about PKI and you can still control your encryption key.

Update I'm not sure you are going to find something that fits your request directly, not that will work with and be supported in SharePoint. Microsoft is pretty stringent on what you can and can't do at the database level. Look at 3rd party encryption providers like CipherPoint - there are a few others out there that work on list data directly. I have not used these personally so can't vouch for them. KwizCom has some add ons that give you the ability to apply "per column" permissions inside SharePoint - so maybe some combination of these will get you what you need.

  • Thanks for the comments, the ideal tool will provide column level security, I've updated the question. Apr 13, 2016 at 20:47

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