WatchGuard User Anonymisation

WatchGuard User Anonymisation

The issue of privacy surrounding user data is taking center stage. Many countries are developing regulations that set standards for how to move, store, view, and report on data containing users’ personally identifiable information, or PII. For example, the European Union is setting precedents with the most stringent data and privacy protection regulations in the world with its General Data Protection Regulation framework, or GDPR.

WatchGuard’s Dimension™ visibility platform, which is included with purchase for all WatchGuard Firebox security appliances, delivers a new User Anonymisation feature that takes an organization’s ability to be in compliance with regulations like the GDPR to the next level. The feature works very simply, is easily accessible and configurable, and was designed with the reality of insider threats to PII in mind.

WatchGuard Network Discovery Screen Shot
Anonymised mode encrypts only at the visibility platform level. It does not encrypt the database.

How does it work?

WatchGuard’s User Anonymisation works by replacing all personally identifiable information (PII) in Dimension’s reports, dashboards, and summary pages with hashed placeholder text. When enabled, it hashes user names, IP addresses, host names, and mobile device names with unique, randomly generated alphanumeric sequences. The anonymised sequences are not only unique within anonymised sessions, but across all anonymised sessions as well. This means the same anonymised PII data element will be hashed differently each session, disabling any ability to trend hashed PII data within and across sessions so PII stays private.

Checks & Balances

Avoid situations where just one person controls all access to PII by assigning an Anonymisation Officer within Dimension.


Easily configure whether to create an audit log of all actions taken in Dimension or limit logging to when Anonymised Mode is disengaged.

Access by Role

When Anonymised Mode is enabled, user see only a restricted view of the pages their user roles allow them to see.



About WatchGuard

WatchGuard has deployed nearly a million integrated, multi-function threat management appliances worldwide. Our signature red boxes are architected to be the industry's smartest, fastest, and meanest security devices with every scanning engine running at full throttle. Why buy WatchGuard? Find out here.




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