Who has access to your business secrets?

It’s common for people to say these days that “data is the new oil”. That’s because big wins can come from strengthening your business decisions by validating them with data, from measuring the progress of your business through data and by outperforming your competitors by becoming more data driven. So let’s all start off by agreeing that data is important and will only become more so in the days, months and years ahead.

Access rights granted to… who exactly?

In source systems, we – or the IT or finance department – often hold some pretty strong views on who should get access to which data, with shared file folders ideally having limited access according to business roles and needs. Log-ins in ERP systems, for example, typically restrict access for shop assistants and warehouse workers, who can see less information than managers and the finance department. Payroll is often the most restricted area, since a lot of sensitive and personal data is stored there.

The moment data leaves the source systems and a BI front-end like Tableau, PowerBi or Qlik starts dipping into it, we seem to neglect the importance of security rules.

No matter in what stage of the data life cycle and no matter which tool you use – even if you’re just accessing data sources via an Excel spreadsheet – security measures should always be applied.

Sometimes, security is neglected due to forgetfulness, other times it is more a matter of turning the blind eye towards it. When addressed directly, some technicians will even state that the main reason for not going all-in for data security in BI and Analytics is the lack of options. They simply lack a tool, a place, a way to implement security, without having to hand code in various apps or connect-strings by maintaining a data source – a spreadsheet even! – with rules or similar ‘hacks’.


Security layer? Yes please!

Recognising this as an important issue for a BI platform, the Discovery Hub has taken it upon itself to solve the task of security. As a natural part of our BI platform, residing as functionality in the data warehouse, we offer access rights granted on the level of business user roles, on tables and fields, or even upon the content of a specific field. In this way, your French sales team can only see sales in France, while the German sales team can focus on German sales, even though they are both looking at the same dataset and using the same front-end tool or app.

If you, your data protection officer, DPO, or someone from external audits like GDPR, want to look over their shoulder, the documentation is only one click away and always up-to-date, revealing who has access to which data and when it has been accessed.

You might also like: 4 steps to conducting a GDPR compliance audit

As things stand in your business right now, dare ask the question. Do you know exactly who has access to which data in your current environment?

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