data governance challenges

Overcoming Data Governance Challenges and Security Risks on the Road to Snowflake

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Overcoming Data Governance Challenges and Security Risks on the Road to Snowflake

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Since ALTR announced the general availability of our direct cloud integration with Snowflake in February 2021, we’ve seen growing momentum from Snowflake customers who want deep insight into data consumption with automated data access controls and patented security solutions that protect against even the most privileged security threats.

We've worked with companies to understand their challenges and help them build a plan to achieve their goals by utilizing the Snowflake + ALTR native solution. Here are a few examples of the data governance challenges our customers have faced - hopefully you may see a way to overcoming your own similar obstacles.

Challenge 1: Stop Threats to Consolidated Enterprise Data in Snowflake  

We are working with a large financial enterprise consolidating data from multiple on-prem and cloud-based software systems (Workday, Salesforce, internal data warehouses) into Snowflake’s Data Cloud. The company felt their data was safer when spread across different systems which required access to multiple accounts to compromise. Now that they were consolidating data in Snowflake, the risk to data was elevated with a single compromised credential having the potential to open the door to all their data.​

ALTR Solution: In order to maintain their security in the cloud, the company combined ALTR with Snowflake from day one. ALTR provided discovery and classification of sensitive data during merging, delivered access logs to the company’s SIEM for consumption analysis, and implemented governance policy to limit which roles can see data.

Outcomes: With ALTR governance and security included from the outset, the company can be sure that its consolidated data is as protected in the cloud as it was on-prem and that protection can scale with the company’s use of Snowflake to new users and use cases.  

Challenge 2: Enable Compliant PHI Data Sharing Quickly and Easily in Snowflake ​

This healthcare data aggregator, analyzer and retailer with sensitive PHI on most Americans wanted to transition data to Snowflake to make sharing and distribution easier. But before doing that it needed to translate its high-end on-prem security posture to the cloud to comply with regulatory requirements. This included finding, classifying and controlling all the company’s sensitive data prior to migration. With a busy DBA team at the company, there was just no bandwidth to take that on.  

ALTR Solution: ALTR showed the company how quick and easy it can be to understand where the data is and put policy on it, without code. In fact, it could be done in just a couple of half-hour sessions and the solution could be up and running within a week—providing real-time alerts and consolidated access logs to Splunk for analysis.

Outcomes: Discovery and classification reports will support audit and compliance requirements as data moves into Snowflake.​ The security team can effectively understand consumption of data and place policy over access including masking. Because of the low effort required by the DBA team and the fast implementation, the company gets a rapid time to value.  

Challenge 3: Protect Highly Sensitive Financial Data from Privileged Access in Snowflake

A $200M+ logistics company worked with ALTR’s partner Aptitive to move data to and process it in Snowflake. However, their highly sensitive financial data required extra security and attention. It had to be added to Snowflake in order to provide a full picture to the business, but the company’s Snowflake DBA wanted to assure company leadership the data would be safe from credentialed access threats, including himself!  

ALTR Solution: ALTR provides a solution that creates visibility around data access via tokenization combined with access reporting, real time messaging alerts, column governance, and thresholds for an air-tight way to store and use sensitive data in Snowflake.  

Outcomes: With the ALTR solution, if sensitive data is accessed by someone outside of authorized users, the company leadership is notified and can take actions against any insider or credentialed access threats. This opens the door for more sensitive data into Snowflake, allowing the company to extract insights and value from all its data.  

Challenge 4: Govern Tableau User Access and Security in Snowflake

A large data service powered by a Snowflake database required many layers of security including an in-house encryption engine. However, tens of thousands of end users sharing a single Tableau connection prevented any governance or security on individual user access.​

ALTR Solution: Integrate ALTR’s data consumption governance with the company’s encryption to control which users can decrypt data. Provide per user visibility and governance through the shared Tableau connection. Integrate access logs into Splunk to provide security teams real-time visibility into access. Implement data consumption thresholds to prevent credential access threats.​

Outcomes: The company can safely provide access to data through Tableau without fear of credential access threats. Continue to close security gaps by rolling out at-rest-protection to ensure data does not get exposed.​

Overcoming your Snowflake data governance and security challenges

Do any of these situations or roadblocks sound familiar to you? Is your company running into any governance or security challenges like these? We’d love to discuss how ALTR can help you overcome them and continue your journey to data insight on Snowflake.  

data governance challenges

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