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Data Governance and Security: Safeguard Your Most Valuable Asset

Enterprise data is a critical business asset, driving informed decision-making, improving operational efficiency and creating competitive advantages. Like any organizational resource, data must be appropriately managed and secured. Data governance and security work together to safeguard the availability, usability and integrity of an organization’s data. 

Governance and security are part of a comprehensive data management strategy, enabling organizations to get the most value from their data while protecting it. Let’s examine the intersection of governance and security, and then explore how Snowflake Horizon helps organizations improve data security, privacy, compliance, interoperability and access. 

Data Governance vs. Data Security

Definitive Guide to Governance in Snowflake

Although data governance and data security are interrelated, they’re not synonymous. Data governance is a broader term that refers to a comprehensive data management strategy, including data availability, usability, integrity, quality and security controls. As a component of data governance, data security describes the technologies and techniques used to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, corruption and theft throughout the data lifecycle. 

Maximizing the Value of Data While Protecting It

Data governance and security form the heart of modern data management. Here’s how they work to enable organizations to maximize the value of their data while protecting it.

Policy and procedure alignment 

Data governance policies prescribe how data should be handled. Governance is concerned with the establishment and maintenance of the standards, processes and policies that ensure data quality, security and compliance. Data security ensures the consistent enforcement of those policies to protect data, such as data encryption and access controls that restrict who can view or modify data.

Risk management

An essential component of data governance involves identifying data-related risks and developing specific strategies to minimize them. Data security plays an integral role in the implementation of risk-management strategies.

Compliance and auditability

A foundational part of data governance is the consistent enforcement of legal and regulatory requirements. While data governance focuses on compliance, data security provides the controls and data access logs necessary to demonstrate compliance. For instance, data security systems generate data access logs, regularly audited as stipulated by an organization’s data governance policies.

Data stewardship and access control

Data governance assigns data stewardship responsibilities to one or more individuals within an organization. These people actively work to preserve data quality, enforce governance policies, ensure compliance with organization and regulatory standards, and facilitate data access. They use data security to apply access controls that ensure only authorized users can manage sensitive data resources.

Incident response and management

Data governance frameworks help organizations mitigate and respond to data security incidents more effectively. The framework contains response and communication strategies, with data security enabling the containment and remediation efforts guided by an incident response plan.

Training and awareness

Both data governance and data security include robust training components, helping ensure that employees understand their role in maintaining data quality, security and compliance standards. 

How Snowflake Horizon Enables Governance and Security

Snowflake Horizon is Snowflake’s built-in governance solution for enterprise data. Equipped with its suite of governance and security features, data governors and stewards have the tools they need to protect data on a granular level and make it available to authorized users. Here are five ways teams can benefit from Snowflake Horizon. 

Compliance

With Snowflake Horizon’s data quality monitoring and lineage capabilities, organizations can effectively audit their data, apps and models while ensuring data quality, using out-of-the-box and custom metrics. Snowflake Horizon also makes it easier for data governors and stewards to understand data relationships through object dependencies and lineage.

Security

Snowflake Horizon users can confidently secure their data environment with continuous risk monitoring and protection. Built-in encryption, authentication, network policies, unified role-based access control (RBAC) and listing discovery controls protect data, apps and models. Snowflake Horizon allows users to centrally apply granular access policies across all databases, schemas and tables (including open table formats) in an account. 

In addition, Snowflake Horizon streamlines cross-cloud security and compliance monitoring with Trust Center, a powerful solution for monitoring your Snowflake account for security risks. The Trust Center automatically evaluates your account against specified recommendations, with options to customize how frequently scanners run. If the account violates any recommendations in any of the enabled scanners, the Trust Center provides a list of security risks, with recommended actions to mitigate those risks. 

Privacy

Advanced privacy policies and data clean rooms enable organizations to leverage the full value of their sensitive data. Snowflake Horizon’s privacy policies safeguard sensitive data while preserving its analytical value. For example, differential privacy policies help customers ensure that query output does not contain information that can be used to draw conclusions about individual records in the underlying data set. Organizations can use this feature to allow other teams and business partners to analyze personally identifiable information, confidential medical and financial data, and other sensitive data types — while protecting the data from accidental leaks and targeted privacy attacks. 

Snowflake Data Clean Rooms enable secure collaboration on sensitive data with multiple teams inside and outside the organization. They provide access to data-driven insights while preserving the privacy of the underlying data.

Access

Snowflake Horizon streamlines data access with advanced capabilities to quickly classify, search, discover, access and share data, apps and models. Universal Search is a large language model-powered search tool that enables teams to quickly discover and access relevant data and apps across a Snowflake account, including Iceberg tables and Snowflake Marketplace listings. This feature brings the power of AI-driven search to data. 

Interoperability 

Snowflake Horizon allows organizations to connect their data ecosystem inside and outside Snowflake through integrations with other Apache Iceberg-compatible catalogs and engines, as well as with leading data catalogs, and data governance and security partners. 

Snowflake Horizon: Govern Your Enterprise Data

With Snowflake Horizon, data governors, stewards and data teams gain a unified solution to govern and protect their data environment. Centralize threat monitoring and RBAC across clouds, protect all content with granular capabilities, and enable quick discovery and privacy-preserving collaboration with Snowflake Horizon.