Data Governance: Using Field Security

Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, provides insight on taking advantage of field level security to achieve better data governance. 

The key to reporting and extracting insights from data is being able to trust the data and its dissemination. It boils down to the essential aspects of Data Governance – the ability to access and consume data reliably while meeting the competing demands between IT security and business users. Good Data Governance answers questions like, ‘How can I trust the data?’, ‘How can I have traceability of key business decisions?’, ‘How do I keep my data from getting unwieldy and uncontrollable?’, and ‘How can I ensure that only authorized persons can see the data or parts of it?’. In Informer 5, we bolster our approach to the latter question, addressing data level, content level and functional level security.

Informer 5 has inherently embodied Data Governance and found an effective balance between enabling self-service analysis and protecting sensitive business information. Organizational business needs require departments to share content amongst each other reliably and confidently. For many of our customers, it is a common use case to have different groups of authorized personnel accessing different sets of sensitive data. With so many possible permutations of who can see what, we wanted to provide our customers a way to control access down to not only a row level, but also a column level in a more manageable way.

Datasource sharing can be customized down to the granular field level. In the past, fields were restricted and shared as either all or nothing. Using the updated field security model, Admin users can restrict fields and then specify exactly which restricted fields to grant to a Team or User when sharing the Datasource. For example, Team A can be granted access to the restricted fields Salary and Social Security Number, while Team B can be granted access to the restricted fields Social Security Number and Birthdate. In this way, Informer 5 allows restricting fields and granting differentiated access to fields within the same Mapping. We updated the Datasource sharing dialog to facilitate an intuitive workflow when granting access to restricted fields, including use of search and Field Sets to quickly find the restricted fields across all Mappings to share.

In order to facilitate easy navigation of fields, Informer 5.4 introduces Field Sets – an easy way to organize fields into common groups. Each field can be assigned to a single set, and the list of all fields can be easily filtered by Field Set. Now, it is possible to quickly find all of the fields that comprise a common theme – a given Field Set.

The new security is backwards compatible with the way security works in previous versions. You will have the option to deploy the new security model to your entire instance, or on a Dataset-by-Dataset basis.

Informer 5 security draws on our experience with customer security needs and understanding the best practices for security and Data Governance. We emphasize a robust security structure while providing ease of setup and maintenance as can be seen with Informer 5.4.

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