Why it’s so important to unify your data access control
You know you need to secure your company’s data. But there are countless data security tools and methods, and no one-size-fits-all for every enterprise. So, where do you start? A Data Security Platform (DSP) aggregates data protection requirements across data types, storage silos, and ecosystems, starting with data discovery and classification. As an overarching, organization-encompassing data security solution, that’s a solid place to start.
Let’s examine key DSP functionalities and critical considerations for your organization. Your DSP should protect data via these six core functionalities:
- Unified data access controls through fine-grained access policies
- Data discovery and classification
- Data masking
- Data encryption
- Data security and risk insights
- Workflows, policy orchestration, and automation
DSPs will also typically provide data access activity monitoring, including audit and reporting capabilities for compliance processes and data risk assessments.
Unified data access controls
Outside of a DSP, each data and analytics source has some form of data access control. Some are coarse-grained, such as all-or-nothing access or table-level access. Others have finer-grained access controls, such as file, column, row, or even tag-based. Plus, each source has its own method to create access controls, sometimes via a GUI and many times via complex command-line interfaces. These diverse, siloed approaches prevent transformation of security strategy and policies into application at scale.
Traditionally, organizations have been forced to stitch together myriad, disparate products to get the same overall functionality of a single DSP — resulting in significant operational inefficiencies, inconsistent implementation of policies, and a major roadblock to becoming data-driven. The remedy is a single platform that unifies coarse- and fine-grained data access controls for comprehensive data security, greater operational efficiency, and enhanced data availability.
Data discovery and classification
Sensitive data discovery and classification is critical to practical implementation of a data security governance strategy. Tag-based access control — using data attributes or classification as a means to manage who has access to what data — automates and dramatically simplifies data security policy implementation.
Some organizations might already have a data discovery and classification tool, independent of a DSP. Your DSP must support both data discovery as part of the DSP platform and integration of data discovery from a third-party tool to, for example, leverage data classifications to create tag-based policies.
Data masking and encryption
Unification is also the main reason your DSP should integrate data masking and encryption. You’re at risk for major inefficiencies and inconsistencies if masking or encryption are applied to data in a database or analytical tool in a siloed or source-by-source approach. Unified and integrated data masking and encryption facilitates the consistent implementation of data security policies.
Auditing and reporting for compliance and regulations
A DSP is the central source of truth for your data security — the method in which you will implement your data security strategy and policies. Therefore, it’s imperative that your DSP provides unified data access auditing and reporting, including an overview of your organization’s data ecosystem, where sensitive data resides, who’s accessing what, and when.
A DSP must also include automation, workflows, and policy orchestration. Conceptually, this is similar to Policy as Code (PaC). Except, instead of applying to application security, it applies to data security. The core reasons to incorporate these capabilities into a DSP is automation and simplification of data security governance strategy and policy implementation. It also ensures consistent implementation as well as consistent application and adherence to regulatory requirements.
The need for broad integration
Your DSP must be able to integrate into your broader data governance infrastructure such as your Active Directory (AD), Identity and Access Management (IAM), and catalog solutions. Your IAM integration is especially important because it handles coarse-grained user access to systems, applications, and your DSP in general. It contains user attributes, which can be used by your DSP to provide fine-grained data access, masking, and encryption. This is called Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) and it is a powerful capability when added to the other access control approaches. It is very useful in automating and simplifying the implementation of data security and data access policies. Integration with data catalogs is critical, because they’re quickly becoming the tools of choice for data consumers to find and understand data. Your DSP provides the last mile to empower the fast and secure data access necessary for successful, data-driven digital transformation.
DSPs are an increasingly critical component to comprehensive, robust, and data-consumer-centric data security strategies.
Privacera offers the core DSP capabilities enterprises need for comprehensive, enterprise-wide data security, while maintaining fast and agile access to keep data flowing for derisked, reduced time to insight.