Article

Introducing Immuta Fall 2019: Sensitive Data Detection, New Privacy-Enhancing Features, and Even More Extensibility Options

Fall is here. As the leaves change outside Immuta’s offices in Boston, College Park, and Columbus, our software and its features are changing as well – for the better! We’re thrilled to introduce the Fall 2019 update to our Automated Data Governance platform.

We will demonstrate our latest release @ Strata NYC this week. Come by our booth (#1307) at the Javits Center for a demo—read on for an overview of what’s new in Immuta, why we built it, and how customers can benefit.

Immuta Fall 2019

Not surprisingly, as the leading automated data governance platform, automation continues to be a key theme for this release as well. Today we announced several new automated features to help BI and data science teams work faster, and more securely, including:

  • Automated tagging (sensitive data detection)
  • Automated data projects and publishing (native HDFS workspaces); and
  • Automated integration (new hooks and APIs to connect Immuta with third-party systems and tools)

Let’s dig into these three big automation themes.

Sensitive Data Detection: Tag Your Data Automatically to Speed Up Policy Creation

While some of our customers have robust data dictionaries and tags as a result of great products like BigID and Collibra (both of which are Immuta partners), others have asked us to help them tag sensitive data—particularly to help with privacy compliance. This has been one of our most highly requested features among healthcare, retail banking, and other industries where privacy is a major concern. 

Immuta’s new sensitive data detection feature automatically identifies and classifies sensitive data contained in columns as tags, as the data is exposed through Immuta. Immuta governance users can then quickly and easily build global, automated privacy policies using these sensitive data tags – without writing a single line of code. They can also combine tags from existing metadata libraries with new tags detected by Immuta, creating a tag superset for building comprehensive rules for privacy protection and more.

A great customer example for sensitive data detection is a large healthcare tech company that uses Immuta to share data with healthcare ecosystem partners (payers, providers, etc). This customer lacked an automated way to discover personally identifiable information (PII) across hundreds of data tables. Now, with our new data detection feature, they can automatically detect PII and create global privacy policies across all of their tables without any coding required. This helps them speed up policy creation and ultimately reduce ‘time to insight’ – the KPI of the data age.
 

Data Science on Hadoop Just Got Faster, Easier and More Compliant

A second major enhancement in Immuta Fall 2019 release—requested by several of our large banking and tech customers that utilize Hadoop—is the ability for data science teams to create projects with Immuta and WRITE their project outputs (derivative data) without having to spin up separate databases or HDFS directories in any way. These customers can now use Immuta Projects to create native HDFS workspaces, assemble DS teams with equalized rights to multiple, live data sources, perform their modeling and testing, and publish data BACK to their HDFS workspace — automatically. 

 

A major U.S. retail bank intends to use our new native HDFS workspace feature to streamline what is, today, a complex, time-intensive process that can take weeks or even months. Before Immuta, to allow collaboration yet avoid privacy leakage, this bank’s data analytics and IT teams would have to create a HDFS workspace and a corresponding HIVE database—cordoned off for a particular set of users working together on a given project for a given purpose (there were hundreds of them). Special data for the project would first have to be transformed and cleansed, before it could be loaded into HDFS. Later, a second database would have to be created to store any derivative project data created by the users. This lengthy process forced IT teams to spend much of their time preparing the data, setting up the access controls, and managing outputs—leaving the data science teams waiting and unable to easily share their work.

Now, with our native HDFS workspaces, the data science team can create an Immuta project, add data sources, and equalize project access so that all members have the same data access rights as the lowest-level member of the team. Immuta then ensures all project members see only what that member with the lowest level of rights is allowed to see—all without involving IT. With this new native HDFS workspace, a month-long data prep and extraction process ripe with privacy risks has been transformed into a five minute, autonomous effort—with all data now 100% protected by Immuta’s always-on policies and governance. And when this data science team’s project is complete, it can safely expose the data to others—outside of the project—using Immuta’s policy inheritance feature. 

Even More Extensibility and Faster Integration Without Custom Development

A final ‘automation’ feature in our new release is centered around automating the connection of other tools and systems into Immuta, both to pull in user and data attributes from other systems, and to push out Immuta events to third party tools. While Immuta has always led the industry in terms of connecting to the most data sources and analytics tools, our new features make it even easier to extend and integrate Immuta with other tools and systems. Specifically:

  • Customers can now use Webhooks to enable third-party tools to react to Immuta events; 
  • Customers can use our new exposed interfaces to layer in both user and data attributes from existing business apps and systems to develop fine-grained user and data policies.

For example, one of our large financial services customers wants to build governance policies based on user attributes stored in its HR system, Workday, including the types of training courses. Employees who are to be given more fine-grained data access need to have completed certain training courses. The challenge is Workday doesn’t sync with its identity management system. So without this feature, this firm would not be able to build policies based on the training and accreditation their data consumers have. Now, with this feature, they can “layer in” data from Workday through Immuta’s customizable interface to build more powerful governance policies. Most importantly, they can do this themselves without involving the Immuta engineering team.

***

Immuta Fall 2019 is live as of today with three powerful new capabilities our customers have been asking for, and we’re thrilled to deliver to market. What do you think about these new features, and do they address the governance challenges you’re facing? Contact us, or reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter.