Business leaders are increasingly turning to cloud-based analytics to deliver the insight they need for effective decision-making. Market analyst IDC claims this kind of intelligence can drive financial, employee, customer and offering outcomes — and enhance digital resilience, agility and innovation. But that same data also represents business risk if not properly secured and handled in line with regulatory requirements. If security teams’ concerns aren’t allayed from the outset, data analytics projects may not get far.
That means organizations need a data-centric security strategy if they want to optimize their use of industry leading cloud data warehouse platforms like Snowflake.
What is Snowflake?
According to IDC, 60% of organizations with the most mature enterprise intelligence strategies record improvements in decision-making. And it is platforms like Snowflake that get them there. Snowflake is a leader in the cloud-based data warehouse space. Built atop Azure, AWS and Google Cloud infrastructure, it enables organizations to store all of their enterprise data in one place – no matter how much of that data there is.
Its secret sauce lies in the cloud-based architecture: a multi-layered approach makes for independently scalable storage, compute and cloud services. That means customers only pay for the storage and compute resources they need. Other benefits of the platform include:
Speed and performance: The ability to run virtually any number of workloads across multiple users in a highly cost-effective manner without impacting performance – thanks to the elastic nature of the cloud. That means data analysts get rapid access to the information they need even if there are a large number of competing queries.
Simplicity: Structured and semi-structured data can be combined for analysis without any need for time-consuming conversion, and the platform automatically optimizes storage and queries. Data sharing is also seamless among Snowflake and non-Snowflake customers.
Availability: The platform is built on the distributed public cloud, meaning it is optimized to handle network interruptions with a minimal impact on customers.
Managing cyber risk
Yet organizations looking to leverage the benefits of cloud data warehouse platforms like Snowflake must also contend with several challenges:
Enterprise data is sought-after by threat actors: Reported breaches in the US hit a record high in 2021, up 68% year-on-year. Such incidents can cost organizations dear in legal costs, third-party forensics and investigation, lost customers, brand damage and regulatory fines. GDPR fines surged 168% over the past year to more than $3bn.
Traditional security does not work in the cloud: AD/LDAP integration, role-based access controls (RBACs) and traditional database encryption for data at rest are not always sufficient to mitigate risk in cloud data warehouse environments. And providers’ native security offerings may not be enough either.
Internal teams have competing priorities: Business teams want projects up-and-running as soon as possible, and may forego important data audit/classification processes, which can create security coverage gaps. Compliance teams prioritize data protection at all costs, and may therefore force projects owners to anonymize or mask data, or even not use sensitive data at all. Although that will help with compliance, it hugely restricts analytics projects and diminishes the value of investing in platforms like Snowflake – shrinking competitive advantage.
How can comforte help?
Fortunately, comforte’s Data Security Platform was built for use cases like this. Thanks to a newly announced integration with Snowflake, customers will find it even easier to protect their most sensitive data whilst optimizing its use for analytics in the cloud data warehouse.
So how does it work? Our Data Security Platform:
- Continuously and automatically discovers and classifies all sensitive information (eg PII, PHI etc)
- Protects data so that it can be used by authorized users in analytics tools (eg via format-preserving encryption)
- Protects data before it enters the cloud and keeps it protected throughout its lifecycle to ensure compliance, even when shared with partners
- Enables a more automated approach to data protection which reduces manual toil and costs, and simplifies data and security management
The benefits of using the comforte Data Security Platform on Snowflake include:
- Unlocking business insight from enterprise data without compromising on security or privacy.
- Adapting easily to new regulations, thanks to future-proof data-centric security.
- Deploying in days or weeks and easily integrating with data sources, apps and analytics tools, for accelerated time to value.
- Closing any coverage gaps quickly via automated data discovery and protection.
- Reducing spend and overheads associated with data management and governance.
We are proud members of the Snowflake ecosystem for Security, Governance & Observability.