Big Data

Privacera Streamlines Data Access Control Decisions

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To be data-driven, one needs access to data. That’s pretty obvious. But data also carries risk, which complicates the math. One vendor hoping to streamline the data access workflow and safely get more data into the hands of users is Privacera, which yesterday updated its data access control software to empower a wider group of users to make data access decisions.

Privacera is an established vendor in the suddenly hot area of data access control and data governance. Since GDPR went into effect several years ago, data security has become a board-level priority, since nobody wants to make headlines by having their customers’ sensitive data spread all across the Dark Web.

But at the same time, companies are under immense pressure to do more with data and to become data-driven. Privacera co-founder and CEO Balaji Ganesan refers to this data dilemma as the “dual mandate” of access control.

With the launch this week of Governed Data Stewardship, Privacera is upping the ante on the dual mandate. As an addition to its existing Unified Data Security Platform, GDS helps to flatten the data access decision tree and get organizations closer to the dream of self-service data, while still maintaining governance and control over the data.

The company says it’s able to accelerate data access without compromising security because there is still quite a bit of inefficiency in the data access approval workflow. Currently, data-hungry users are forced to wait for their IT service tickets to work their way through several levels for approval.

Then, once the data access request has been granted, the job of actually enabling data access lands on the desk of technical employees, such as data engineer or a database administrator, who must manually create the policy controls required for each physical resources, such as a database or backend system.

Privacera is aiming to streamline and flatten this workflow with GDS. It does this by first abstracting the physical data resources into business-oriented data domains. Secondly, GDS provides an intuitive user interface that enables less-technical employees, such as data custodians and data stewards, to create access control policies at the data domain level (as opposed to the physical database level).

By raising the abstraction level and allowing a wider pool of data professionals to make important decisions, it will accelerate data access while maintaining security, the company says.

“We have heard from our customers repeatedly that managing and provisioning secure data access is a major unsolved pain point,” Balaji Ganesan, Privacera CEO and co-founder, stated in a press release. “Analytical and AI initiatives require agile data sharing and fine-grained access provisioning. We are excited to empower organizations with a more democratized experience, one that offers enhanced data governance offerings decreases IT burdens, and accelerated data access while maintaining utmost security and compliance throughout the data estate.”


Privacera sits in the middle of several data toolchains, including ticketing systems like ServiceNow or Jira as well as data catalogs from Alation and Collibra. GDS works with these upstream and downstream systems, enabling users to search for data through data catalogs and ultimately send a request through their traditional ticketing system.

But when it comes to ensuring the security of sensitive data, that responsibility falls to Privacera and the policies and control mechanisms that users set with the software. GDS provides the assurances that the necessary checks will be completed before unleashing that data for analytics and AI.

It’s all about balancing the various needs in the organization, says Stewart Bond, research vice president for IDC.

“As I look at the modern data environment, a key element is making it all work better together with the goal of accelerating the time to business and data insight,” Bond states in a press release. “But appropriate and timely data access has been a roadblock between data discovery and consumption; once a data consumer has discovered relevant data in a catalog or marketplace, the acquisition of data is where the process slows down. It is akin to someone shopping online, checking out, and then nothing happens, because there is no automated connection to the delivery mechanism. What Privacera is doing with Governed Data Stewardship is eliminating the complexity and time of running a data access request through a service management system. This empowers businesses’ data initiatives to actually get more value from marketplaces and catalog initiatives.”

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