If we learned anything at Snowflake Summit (and we did – a lot!) it’s that the data governance space is as confusing as it is frenzied. Nearly every company is at some stage of moving to capitalize on cloud data analytics, while the regulatory environment around data continues to increase the urgency for privacy and security. Every single data governance, control, security session we saw was completely packed, indicating that many companies are now ready to focus on protecting sensitive data. Yet, some of the options in the market are misnamed, confusing and frustrating for buyers. There are many focused providers and even other adjacent software markets like data catalogs are starting to offer basic features. Also, Snowflake itself continues to roll out very powerful, albeit very manual-to-implement, governance features.
We’re hoping to not only clear up some of the FUD around data governance solutions, but also set the bar for how easy, functional and cost-effective data governance can and should be.
A new paradigm for controlling data access and security at scale
Last week we announced our new policy automation engine which combines governance features like access control and dynamic data masking with security controls like data usage limiting and tokenization, leveraging metadata like Snowflake Object Tagging and implemented and managed without code. With this new data governance solution, we’ve maintained our commitment to cloud-native delivery that supports best-in-category time to value and zero cost of ownership beyond our very reasonable, by user by month subscription.
For ALTR this is the realization of our vision for data privacy and security driven by people who can best accomplish it – the people who know the data – by assembling disparate tools into a single engine and single POV across the enterprise.
Built on a flexible, secure cloud foundation that leverages and automates Snowflake’s own features
ALTR is a true cloud-native SaaS offering that can be added to Snowflake using Partner Connect or a Snowflake Native App in just minutes. It integrates seamlessly with Snowflake without the need to install and maintain a proxy or other agent. Our microservices infrastructure takes full advantage of the scalability and resilience of the cloud, offering extremely high availability with multi-region support by default, because your data governance solution simply cannot go down.
Importantly, our service is built the same way as Snowflake itself and leverages Snowflake’s native features whenever possible. Those powerful features all involve writing SnowSQL to implement, and we automate them so that you don’t have to scale them yourself and you can go completely no-code.
We have also been Soc 2 Type 2 and PCI DSS Level 1 certified for years, and we maintain a highly disciplined security culture in our technical teams. Across various data sources we offer multiple integration types, including Cloud-to-Cloud Integration, Smart Database Drivers, and Proxy solutions. They all connect and use the same ALTR cloud service.
A data governance solution to both scale and safeguard
All of this comes together in an easy-to-use solution that delivers combined data governance and security for thousands of users across on premises and in cloud data storage. Automation of access policy can unlock months of person-hours per year in writing and maintaining policy, in the same way that ETL/ELT providers automating data pipelines saved data teams huge amounts of time in provisioning data.
In addition, unlike all the other providers in the data governance space, the ALTR solution moves beyond traditional data access policy tools like RBAC and dynamic masking into data security functionality like data usage limits and tokenization. We feel that your policy around data should contemplate your credentialed users and also extend to use cases where credentials might have been compromised or privileged access is an issue. For us, data policy is about both control and protection, and those policies should be developed and enforced with both in mind.
The future is bright – for data governance solution buyers
We’ll continue to extend our solution by deepening our policy engine’s capabilities with new policy types, expanding our support for a greater variety of data sources and data integrations, and building out more seamless integrations with like-minded players in the data ecosystem (such as more ELT and Catalog providers). All of this is driven and directed by a growing community of customers who are innovating in data and showing us where they need us the most. As the technology space moves forward, the options available to those still searching for a data governance solution will come into focus and the best choice will be clear.