Article

Using Data Virtualization to Govern Data Dynamically

The Immuta automated data governance solution uses a technique known as “virtualization” to apply policies on data without making any copies of the underlying data. These policies can range from various types of dynamic data masking tools, time-based minimization (e.g., “only display the most recent 6 months of data”), purpose restrictions on data, differential privacy and more.

Data virtualization is an alternative to data warehousing and the traditional extract, transform, load (ETL) process. Unlike ETL, with virtualization the raw data remains in place and access is given to the live source system for the data. This reduces the risk of errors and eliminates the need to move data between jurisdictions or create and govern multiple new copies of data.

Critically, this approach also allows for all data policies to be implemented and monitored from one single place, no matter the location or volume of the data. It is, in Immuta’s experience, the only way to scale data governance with large, dynamic datasets. The graphic below illustrates how data virtualization works in practice.

Figure 1. An illustration of data unification through virtualization, which is a core functionality of Immuta.

Immuta’s core insight is that data governance should not be based on a “release and forget” model, where an operation is applied to static data and then a copy of that data is handed over to end users. This disincentivizes collaboration between data engineers and architects, data scientists and governance personnel, and ultimately creates stale, inaccurate data, as well as low visibility into how data is being used for compliance personnel.

Instead, Immuta’s utilizes a “release and control” model, taking advantage of virtualization to enforce data access controls on live data without physically moving or copying the entire raw data source. This means that data teams can enable access to the latest data and compliance teams can reference data audit trails to understand how data is being consumed, all in real time. It also ensures that data can be shared with third parties through Immuta without losing any control over that data, and without requiring the data to be physically moved across jurisdictions or borders.

Dynamic data control is essential to the future of cloud-based data use, and Immuta empowers data teams to scale data use in a secure, efficient manner. To find out more about virtualization and dynamic data governance, request a demo of Immuta today.