Fintech Company Secure Big Data in the Cloud With LaminarA Case Study
In the cloud, where change is constant, data seems to take on a life of its own. As data proliferates, security teams lose visibility of where it’s stored and how it’s secured. For one global fintech company, the challenge of securing data in the cloud is compounded by the fact that it ingests enormous volumes of unstandardized data from its partners. In search of a DSPM platform that would give them visibility and agile data security in the cloud, the fintech company turned to Laminar.
“We need to make sure we know what data we have and where it is, and then we can protect it, which is the final goal,” says the company’s data protection technical lead.
“We need to make sure we know what data we have and where it is, and then we can protect it, which is the final goal”
The organization leverages a variety of AWS services, including AWS Control Tower, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon RDS. Uncovering all of its data was a challenge, and the company’s previous data security platform wasn’t making the job any easier. The solution took months to deploy, and the team had to tell the platform where to find data. “Because we had to tell the solution where to look, we were missing a significant amount of data,” says the team lead.
The results, based on the limited data the system did find, provided little value. There was too much information and in a form that wasn’t easily consumable.
The team decided to look for a replacement solution specifically designed to address data security needs in the cloud. “We wanted a data security platform that didn’t require us to point to where to look for data, something that would tell us where the data is, and render the findings in a way that could be easily consumed,” says the team lead.
The organization’s search for a more user-friendly and effective solution led to Laminar, the first cloud data security platform for everything organizations build and run in AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Snowflake. Laminar helps data and governance teams discover, prioritize, secure, and monitor data across their entire public cloud/multi-cloud estate. The cloud native platform enables agile data security through autonomous and continuous security.
“When I saw the Laminar dashboard with the number of data assets per type, I almost cried from joy because before Laminar I could hardly get a decent view of the S3 buckets alone, never mind all the assets on the account. It was pretty amazing”
Laminar’s architecture was a strong winning point for the organization. Designed for the multi-cloud, the data security platform takes an API-only approach, without any agents and without removing sensitive data — and thereby avoiding regulatory compliance issues. Laminar is embedded within the organization’s AWS accounts and only analyzes metadata so source data never leaves the cloud.
Laminar also provides results that are consumable and actionable. The dashboard provides a very simple overview of the data in a user’s cloud account with the ability to do a deep dive to get more details.
“When I saw the Laminar dashboard with the number of data assets per type, I almost cried from joy because before Laminar I could hardly get a decent view of the S3 buckets alone, nevermind all the assets on the account. It was pretty amazing,” says the technical lead.
It didn’t take long to get up and running with Laminar, which the technical lead describes as a “plug and play” platform. “The deployment was very fast. Within a few days we were getting meaningful results,” she says.
That simplicity extends to data discovery. Laminar autonomously and continuously discovers and classifies new datastores in both AWS and AWS Control Tower. As a result, the team has complete and continuous visibility of its data without having to manually point the tool to specific datastores. “I estimate we have 90% more visibility with Laminar versus our previous solution. They’re not even on the same scale,” says the technical lead.
Laminar also successfully finds and identifies data assets that are not necessarily where you’d expect to find them. For example, the platform identified several types of databases on EC2 instances – including PostgreSQL, My SQL, and MongoDB – that were previously unmanaged because the team lacked visibility into them. Laminar also determined what was in the databases, enabling the team to secure that data and ensure it was meeting compliance requirements for its protection.
Other teams have become aware of Laminar’s value and come to the team lead for insights about the company’s data, such as who has access to which data stores. “This tool, like no other, gives you the context of access, it shows who is accessing what sensitive data and not just access at the infrastructure level,” she says.
“There are a lot of other monitoring tools, but they don’t know what’s in the asset, so it’s hard to prioritize alerts. Laminar adds an extra dimension to the security monitoring, which is the sensitivity of the assets. So, you can focus on what really should be sorted today and can’t wait until tomorrow”
Laminar’s data security posture management (DSPM) solution also goes beyond other platforms by prioritizing risk based on sensitivity and data risk posture. “There are a lot of other monitoring tools, but they don’t know what’s in the asset, so it’s hard to prioritize alerts,” says the team lead. “Laminar adds an extra dimension to the security monitoring, which is the sensitivity of the assets. So, you can focus on what really should be sorted today and can’t wait until tomorrow.”
Laminar also helps the team maintain good security hygiene and compliance with regulatory requirements. For example, the platform provides visibility into the AWS regions where data is stored, which is critical for maintaining data sovereignty. Laminar can also identify sensitive S3 buckets that don’t have access logs enabled or are sending access log stores to more destinations than necessary.
The visibility provided by Laminar also helps the organization to better manage its assets. The platform identifies abandoned assets, enabling the team to delete unused data and move data it wants to keep to less expensive cold storage. In addition, it helps the technical lead find misplaced data and apply the proper controls. Thanks to Laminar, the fintech company can rest assured that all of its data in the cloud is accounted for – and is safe and secure.