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Q&A with Q2’s Lou Senko: Webinar Sneak Peek

Best practices for securing sensitive data in the cloud

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Q&A with Q2’s Lou Senko: Webinar Sneak Peek

Best practices for securing sensitive data in the cloud

Published on Apr 01, 2021
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Data and security professionals alike are feeling the pressure to make data accessible yet secure. The rapid adoption of cloud data platforms like Snowflake enables organizations to make faster business decisions because of how easy it has become to analyze and share large quantities of data.  

But how has this impacted organizations' overall risk exposure and data security strategies?

During our latest webinar, “A Security-First Approach to Re-Platforming Cloud Data”, we explored that question and discuss the best practices for mitigating that risk. I was joined by Omer Singer, Snowflake’s Head of Cyber Security Strategy, as well as Lou Senko, Chief Availability Officer at Q2.  

First, let’s level set on what we mean by “Security-First.”  Typically, security-related projects are brought in at the eleventh hour with a corresponding eleventh hour budget. This makes the task of adding data security into a product or application stressful and cumbersome. A security-first approach means that security is part of the discussion from day 1, built into the strategy, not an add-on.  

That’s why I am so excited that Lou Senko joined us for this discussion. Lou understands the importance of security-first and he’s experienced the challenges and benefits firsthand. Lou and his team are responsible for the availability, performance, and quality of the services that Q2 delivers, including security and regulatory compliance.

In preparation for the webinar, I had the privilege of getting some time with Lou for a quick Q&A session that gives a sneak peek into what you can expect to learn about during the live event.  

1. Why did Q2 choose Snowflake and what benefits were you looking for/problem were you looking to solve?

Q2 went through the ‘digitization’ of our back office internal IT back in 2013-2014, resulting in us moving all of our in-house application portfolio over to best-of-breed SaaS solutions. This provided Q2 an opportunity to re-imagine our internal IT staffing – shifting away from looking after machines to more Business Analysts, Reporting Analysts and experts of this SaaS applications – working with the business to drive more value from the insights these applications offer. At first, we were building our own data warehouse, but ended up taking a step backwards from that.

With Snowflake we get all of these new capabilities without adding complexity from an infrastructure perspective. We had run into the typical issues with large data – finding ways to keep it performant, serving both ETL and OLTP usage models, and it was a big lift to manage and secure it. Snowflake’s simplicity has allowed us to focus resources on additional projects and accelerate our ability to innovate.

2. For others in the same position, what are the biggest risks to look out for when re-platforming your data in the cloud?  

Security. We pulled all the data out of these highly secure, highly trusted SaaS applications and then plunked it all into a single database. Before, a bad actor would need to figure out how to hack Netsuite, Salesforce, Workday, etc. But now they just have to focus on hacking this one database and you take it all. So, it makes the data warehouse a very rich target.  

3. What do you hope the audience takes away from this webinar?  

First, I hope they can learn from our experiences, so they don’t have to waste a lot of time for no reason. I want them to better understand the risks too. The business needs the insights from the data – so you must deliver – but pulling it out of your vendors application just removed all that security.  

Overall, I’m excited to show them how combining Snowflake with ALTR can enable them to optimize their benefits and minimize their risk.  

End of Q&A

As you can see you are in for an amazing discussion if you check out the on-demand webinar. You will learn best practices from Lou around scaling and making data available to all consumers who need access without putting burdens on your operations teams.

Alongside Lou, we were also joined by Omer Singer of Snowflake who shared how modern businesses are enhancing threat detection capabilities with best of breed tools like Snowflake to cut cost and time related to security incident and event management. Check out the Q&A we had with Omer here.  

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Authors

Speakers

James Beecham

James is a computer engineer and entrepreneur who co-founded ALTR in 2014 and leads ALTR’s technology and engineering teams.