data classification

ALTR Data Classification

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ALTR Data Classification

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How it Works

ALTR’s integrated data classification solution lets companies easily identify and classify PII, PCI and PHI data so that it can be automatically controlled and secured. To create data governance policies that allow only authorized people to see sensitive or regulated data, such as emails and social security numbers, you have to know what data is sensitive and where it resides. ALTR’s data classification identifies what kind of data is in Snowflake database columns and assigns categories like “first name,” “last name,” and “SSN” to the columns for you. This classification process is a critical first step to data governance because columns can be confusingly named or mislabeled or include information you might not expect.  

ALTR pulls a random, representative sample of data from every column in a database and utilizes Google DLP classification to categorize the column with one or more labels based on the classifiers you provide to a specified confidence level. ALTR then shares a data classification report you can review and base policies on.

ALTR Data Classification


ALTR’s data classification solution provides some unique advantages for companies that need to find and classify sensitive data:  

  • Automated and Scalable – Instead of data owners or database admins spending hours reviewing data column by column (which is virtually impossible when there are hundreds of databases or millions of columns), ALTR allows users to automate this process and receive results in minutes. Data engineers can focus on other, more valuable tasks and offload this administrative task to an automated tool.  
  • Accurate and Secure – ALTR sends Google a random sample of data to classify based on the number of columns in the database. We never send a full row of complete data – our process scrambles the data (without changing the type of data in a column) so that it cannot be used to identify a person. Google has deep experience categorizing data from its years as a search engine leader, and its categorization is considered an industry standard. It returns the results categorized with your list of classifiers at the confidence level required.
  • Integrated into a Single UI – Users never have to log into Snowflake or even leave ALTR. They can classify databases and apply governance controls completely within the ALTR interface. Data classification results are shown in an easy-to-understand Classification Report. From here, users can click a few buttons to apply data governance policies on columns right from this screen with the “Add Data Button.” Users can also integrate with their existing data catalogs via our management API with our open-source integrations including Alation.  
  • Cost-Effective – Data classification for one database is included in the ALTR Free Plan available through Snowflake Partner Connect. Companies can expand to multiple databases with ALTR’s Enterprise Plan for a low per user per month cost.

Easy, Automated and Integrated Data Classification

Data classification is simply foundational to data governance and security. If sensitive data isn’t identified, it’s impossible to protect, leaving gaps in both privacy and security. ALTR integrates automated data classification into our automated policy engine, allowing users to find, tag and govern data easily, all from the ALTR interface.

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