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How Latch Enables Secure Self-Service Data Analytics with Immuta & Snowflake

A decade ago, having a camera on your doorbell or being able to unlock your door from your phone was considered cutting edge – and not particularly common. Today, this technology is ubiquitous, and by 2025 there will be an estimated 478 million smart homes worldwide, up from just 141 million in 2017.

Founded in 2014, Latch provides customers with software, hardware, and services to protect their homes, apartments, and businesses. The company’s products and connected app enable secure entry and allow users to monitor and control what’s going on in their spaces, even when they’re not physically present.

The Challenge

Anyone who has lost their keys knows the panic that sets in when you realize your keys could be anywhere – and with anyone. Similarly, data about people’s living and work spaces is highly sensitive and could be easily exploited in the wrong hands.

The Latch team takes the responsibility of preserving data security and customers’ trust incredibly seriously, especially since the company’s IPO in 2021. Still, when the number of data sources, users, and environments started to grow rapidly, this became an increasingly difficult challenge.

With stakeholders across multiple lines of business requiring access to data in the Snowflake Data Cloud, it became clear that Latch’s data team needed a way to ensure that only the right people were able to access the right information for the right purposes. Additionally, as the team started to build out its collaborative “self-service transformation” model, they had to find a way to mask both raw and consumption-level data across different environments. They quickly realized this could not be done with a homegrown tool or native, role-based Snowflake controls.

The Solution

Latch’s vision is to provide its users with self-service data access on a modern data stack that includes Snowflake, Okta, dbt, Fivetran, and Kafka, so users can safely consume data for BI and analytics. They also wanted to empower that same self-service access midstream where data transformation occurs, as part of the DataOps workflow. Static, role-based controls were simply not able to keep up with the level of flexibility and scalability Latch required.

In order to maximize the value of these innovative data platforms, Latch’s data team realized the need to separate data infrastructure from policy management. This would give them the ability to centralize policy management, and consistently enforce those policies across platforms. Additionally, they had to move away from static access controls to remove bottlenecks and enable greater efficiency and security across lines of business and data environments.

After considering a handful of data access platforms, Latch’s data team chose to incorporate Immuta into its tech stack due to its easy-to-use UI and ability to handle a variety of complicated use cases. Immuta automatically discovers, tags, and classifies sensitive data, so that attribute-based access controls, including purpose-based restrictions, can be dynamically enforced at query time. This makes it easy to apply advanced data masking techniques throughout the data lifecycle, which in turn enables Latch’s self-service transformation model. All data policy enforcement, data access, and data use is easily monitored and auditable for compliance directly in Immuta, providing transparency and peace of mind that customer data remains protected, confidential, and secure.

The Outcome

Immuta’s native integration with Snowflake allows Latch to automatically enforce data policies across various data zones, while simplifying the overall management and maintenance of data access and governance. Since incorporating Immuta into its data stack, Latch has been able to reduce its number of data policies from 40 to five, a significant reduction in policy management burden that frees up more time and increases productivity. Now, Latch is continuing to build out use cases and enable secure, scalable data access that keeps pace with the pace of business innovation.

Want to hear more about how Latch built out a modern data stack and tackled their data access challenges? Join Justin Hanson, Staff Data Architect at Latch, as he dives deeper on how Latch uses Snowflake with Immuta at the Snowflake Summit on June 15, 2022 at 10 a.m. PT. Plus, if you visit Immuta at Basecamp, you could win $10,000 cash!

Don’t miss out – learn more about our customer sessions and Snowflake Summit giveaways here.