UPDATED 18:30 EDT / SEPTEMBER 28 2021

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Governance, security and data access: How Privacera offers a platform to ensure all three

The conundrum facing many businesses today is how to have maximum access to data while keeping it compliant and secure.

Giving the right people access to the right data and nothing more is the mandate. How a company does that effectively without grinding business to a halt is the challenge.

This is the task that the unified data governance startup Privacera Inc. has taken on. Founded in 2016 by the creators of Apache Ranger, a framework for managing comprehensive data security across the Hadoop platform, the company offers a solution that  enables analytics teams to access the data they need without compromising security or privacy requirements.

“You don’t have to change your governance when you are changing your data platforms; you don’t have to change your governance based on what cloud you are choosing,” said Balaji Ganesan (pictured), co-founder and chief executive officer of Privacera. “Your governance needs to be stuck. Privacera is that glue which is enabling you to have a cohesive, long-term strategy that is scalable today and tomorrow in the multicloud and hybrid cloud world.”

Ganesan spoke with Lisa Martin, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the AWS Startup Showcase: New Breakthroughs in DevOps, Analytics, and Cloud Management Tools event. They discussed the rise of data democratization, how Privacera facilitates information sharing while minimizing risk, a cloud migration journey for one major customer, and the importance of addressing data governance upfront. (* Disclosure below)

Data-driven business world

Privacera is riding a wave propelled by desire on the part of many enterprises to democratize access to data. A new research brief issued by the MIT Center for Information Systems Research called for organizations to create a culture in which all employees view data as central to their roles in the business. Continued migration to the cloud has only added more fuel to this trend.

“What we are seeing is a true data democratization that is happening now in the cloud where more enterprise users are looking for access to the data,” Ganesan said. “Business users are looking for more access to the data, more use cases, more tools and faster access to the data to drive business decisions. That’s the world they are living in.”

To facilitate data sharing with proper governance in that world, Privacera provides customers with a single pane of glass and leverages AI-enabled data discovery, centralized data access control, encryption and masking. This includes using tools provided by Amazon Web Services Inc., such as Lake Formation, which lets users set up a secure data lake in days.

“We have deep integrations with things like Lake Formation and other tools which provide deeper controls but those complexities are abstracted for the user,” Ganesan explained. “We are providing tools to make it very easy for enterprises to share data internally, as well as externally, without the need for writing a lot of policies as part of it.”

Meeting mandates in the cloud

One of Privacera’s customers is Sun Life Financial Inc., one of the largest public companies in Canada and a leading global financial services firm. Sun Life was undergoing its own migration from on-premises infrastructure to the AWS cloud, and it needed to ensure that its mandates for governance and security were met.

“Companies cannot ignore governance and accelerate cloud migration,” Ganesan said. “Sun Life was able to build in governance from day one and get faster time to value. We were able to quickly, on the AWS environment, build a unifier layer of access governance where they can go and manage policies in one place and migrate policies which have been built in the on-prem world to the cloud.”

A key message that Ganesan and Privacera seek to impart to customers is that growth and governance must proceed hand-in-hand. This requires enterprises to ensure that an effective governance and security strategy is in place as the business scales.

“Given the growth of data, you no longer can grow unimpeded without having a foundational layer of governance; you cannot grow without having your metadata strategy aligned,” Ganesan explained. “Companies are thinking about building access governance upfront, security upfront, because if you don’t do that, you end up exposing that for risk. Proactive organizations are realizing they need to be more holistic, they need to put in more governance roadmaps very early on in their journey.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Startup Showcase: New Breakthroughs in DevOps, Analytics, and Cloud Management Tools event. (* Disclosure: Privacera Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Privacera nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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