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Data Integration and Enterprise Security

Authors Photo Arianna Valentini | November 12, 2020

Data integration and enterprise security go hand in hand. When a business decides to integrate data across the organization, it means you commit to ensuring the delivery and the security of that data. And in today’s business environment, there is a lot of data to manage! As a result, planning for and achieving integration is inherently complex. Just getting on-premise systems and cloud computing platforms connected and playing nicely together involves overcoming data type and format incompatibilities, bridging OS and application differences, managing data sharing, and much more.

As if managing data integration requirements isn’t enough, security sits on top of the entire endeavor. As you integrate, you must maintain all existing safeguards while ensuring that data privacy and security measures are implemented in every system and at every point of interconnection. Having a strategy for data integration and enterprise security is just one way to ensure that your organization’s data is trusted. At Precisely, we worked with many customers to ensure the delivery of trusted data through data integration. We have found several essential best practices to keep in mind when planning your integration approach through these engagements – some of which we have highlighted below.

Plan, and plan some more

At Precisely, we find that our most successful customers always start with a plan and goal in mind for their data integration project or initiative. In data integration and enterprise security, this means having a plan and engaging with your company’s security professionals. Your security team can help in finding and solving the security challenges your integration project will inevitably encounter. Integrating systems means creating new potential security vulnerabilities as you add many new connections between systems and applications.

You may find that you need to incorporate enterprise security solutions such as CyberArk and Protegrity into data integration workflows in your planning. Or you may find that your execution plans need to incorporate principles such as Zero Trust and CARTA. Zero Trust states that no entity, whether inside or outside your organization, should be trusted. CARTA also is known as “Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment,” centers on constant, automated discovery and analysis of potential security vulnerabilities across your entire enterprise. If you are not working with your security team today, you risk implementing these concepts and solutions mid-project, risking delayed time and extra work.

Download the eBook

Five Tips for Secure Data Integration

Planning for and achieving integration is inherently complex. As you integrate, you must maintain any and all existing safeguards while also ensuring that data privacy and security measures are implemented in every system and at every point of interconnection. In this eBook we discuss some key considerations for scaling up and out securely.

Decide how to handle legacy system data

Legacy data can offer both unique challenges for enterprise security and data integration. For example, take integrating data found on mainframes. Mainframe data often holds valuable information such as customer accounts, financial data, and more. Exposure of the information that lives on the mainframe is a real security concern. However, without such data integrated into modern cloud platforms, your business risks having incomplete or inaccurate data.

When addressing mainframe data access concerns, it is vital to look for solutions that can handle mainframe security protocols and interfaces such as the System Authorization Facility (SAF) and Resource Access Control Facility (RACF). Additionally, any solution you use should integrate with other “Guest” operating systems, including Linux, UNIX, and Windows, which can run on modern mainframe servers. Data integration solutions should be easy to use and inherently understand mainframe data to avoid any skill gaps.

Protect data lineage

As you design and execute your integration plans, it is critical to ensure the integrity of your data. One way to do this is through data lineage, the metadata record of all changes to data moving through your systems. It is critical for regulatory compliance, including annual financial auditing, data privacy controls, and various governmental laws and regulations.  From a data and systems integration planning standpoint, you must ensure that data lineage details are created at each step.  Data lineage details must be correct and securely passed between systems, are stored/retained securely, and are always available on demand.

When building out your data integration plans, first ensure that each application and system in your integrated environment either provide data lineage functionality directly or integrate fully with systems that can cover it. Additionally, you should evaluate the data lineage methods and formats employed in each process and validate their ability to forward or transfer data lineage records.

Download the eBook, Five Tips for Secure Data Integration, to learn more.