Putting Data Intelligence into Action with BigID

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Meet the Authors

Key Takeaways

⇨ Companies must first get a full view of the data they want to govern.

⇨ With data requirements expanding constantly, it is crucial to find a scalable solution that can handle the requirements of both today and tomorrow as well.

⇨ Companies must shield sensitive data from internal and external threats.

Data is the lifeblood of any modern data-driven organization. But as platforms and operating systems grow larger and more complex, companies often struggle to keep pace with the ever-expanding amount of data they must contend with.

As organizations expand, they can lose track of data that is archived or siloed away. Compounding these issues are the numerous data privacy regulations that are introduced across different geographies. Many leading organizations have decided to prioritize data visibility as a way to keep track of all crucial information, regardless of where it resides in their system. Organizations facing these struggles often turn to experienced partners like BigID to gain visibility into their data to better secure and govern it.

The Three Vs

In order to reap all of the benefits of a move to SAP S/4HANA, SAP users must take care to address the “Three Vs” of data, as laid out by Brad Tips, Senior Director of Partner Management at BigID:

Volumes – Companies are struggling to manage that growth in data and understand what the most relevant information is within their systems. While the data is growing exponentially, the data stewards in the organizations are not. In many cases they are flat or even declining.

Variety – Different types of data require different storage technologies and techniques. This can be due to regulatory requirements and accessibility concerns within the organization.

Vulnerabilities – Organizations are facing increasing data breaches, so they need to know where sensitive information is located within their system and how to detect those vulnerabilities.

Data Intelligence Platform

BigID offers its Data Intelligence Platform to companies aiming to contend with data issues. The platform was designed to help identify and protect the sensitive data for both regulatory and security risks across the enterprise. BigID works via a four-step approach:

  • Connect – Companies cannot govern data they do not understand. BigID is unique in that it can find all of the data across an enterprise, whether it is structured, unstructured, or semi-structured. Once the platform locates all of the sensitive and critical data within a system, it then uses machine learning to catalog, classify, and build correlations.
  • Classify – After connecting all data within a system, BigID allows companies to classify, tag, and flag data by context and sensitivity level.
  • Assess and manage risk – Once the data is understood, users can then use BigID’s platform to implement apps that meet their specific privacy and protection requirements. This allows users to build out a unique, customized framework that maximizes the capabilities of their SAP ecosystem.
  • Take action – Understanding and securing data provides a launching pad for companies to get the full value from their data. Enterprises can automate data driven initiatives from across the entire ecosystem, providing decision-makers with the information they need to maximize business value.

The platform also helps contend with security risks, aiding organizations’ ability to understand insider threats, such as accessing or overprivileged access to sensitive information. It also helps mitigate outsider threats like rogue nations or organizations that are looking to steal and breach data.

“It gives a 360-degree view of an enterprise’s data sources and then helps them find that fingerprint of the most important information that they need to manage. This includes managing regulatory risk, which is the need to comply with security frameworks, GDPR, and other federal mandates for sensitive information and PCI data,” said Tips.

Many large enterprises that are decades old have gone through numerous upgrades, mergers, migrations, and more – this leaves data scattered across different types of storage systems, mainframes, message systems, and more. BigID can scan data from all sources, ensuring that even older data can be brought under control and meet present-day compliance requirements.

SAP Ecosystem

BigID plays a major role in the SAP ecosystem as a certified SAP-endorsed app – especially for those SAP organizations that are still in the process of moving to SAP S/4HANA. Customers need to understand their data both within SAP as well as the data it has in external apps and systems prior to the migration.

BigID can find where that sensitive information is, help remediate data that is unprotected or has overprivileged access to sensitive information, and use ML technology to correlate the data around that sensitive information that may be strewn across dozens of data sets.

Once this is done, organizations understand what information to move, delete, or archive. Once the data transformation has taken place, BigID will continue to manage that sensitive information in SAP environments as well as the external ones, providing customers with a full view of all of their data across the enterprise.

SAP Datasphere is a crucial building block for BigID, as they can find data sources anywhere in the organization, discover, understand, and find business context for the data.

“SAP’s Datasphere solution is really about building that business data fabric across the enterprise and the ecosystem. Understanding data not only within SAP environments but also in data sources external to SAP lays a foundation for BigID because we are able to find data sources anywhere across the enterprise. That’s really what differentiates us from other data providers in this space: the ability to discover and understand and provide business context for the data that they care most about,” said Tips.


AI is an essential tool for BigID and its Data Intelligence Platform. As the volume of data that companies have expands exponentially, automation is the only capability that provides a scalable option for managing that information.

“If companies have no AI technology to scale and find associated information over decades, they are going to need to put human resources to go find all that information. It’s not scalable. So what was going to take months of time, we can automate. We can not only find the data, but automate the workflows and the reports that can be shown to the auditors to demonstrate that the organization is complying with the privacy mandates that they’re held accountable to comply with,” said Tips.

Tips added that organizations face a “perfect storm” of growth in data volumes, data variety, and the simplicity and frictionless cloud services that make it easy to replicate data. Understanding all of that information while new regulations emerge makes AI and automation a necessity. Since its inception, BigID has relied on AI and ML to find and catalog data across an entire enterprise.

Case Study

A travel and hospitality company relied on a combination of cybersecurity tools, IT security tools, and manual work to complete data subject access requests (DSARs). Under data protection laws, individuals have the right to request access to their personal data held by organizations by filing a DSAR. Most professionals have noted an uptick in these requests.

Without the proper tools, these requests can pile up, resulting in backlogs for workers to sift through instead of doing work that adds value to their organization. The attorneys at the travel and hospitality company typically needed one to two weeks to review data for privileged information, delete that data, and then grant access to that privileged information, thus completing the request. These manual pulls took away the time these attorneys needed to meet deadlines from regulators.

The company partnered with BigID to address these challenges, utilizing capabilities that are supported by machine learning to minimize manual data governance processes.  It offers patented identity aware capabilities to automate data access requests results all the way to deletion. With BigID, the travel company can comply with DSARs with one-quarter of the full-time employee man hours they needed previously.

What this means for SAPinsiders

Get a 360-degree view of data. Companies must first get a full view of the data they want to govern. Over time, sensitive data can stray to old or unstructured systems. Organizations must find a solution that can attain a full view of all data within the system so they can determine which data should be protected, archived, and deleted.

Rely on automation. With data requirements expanding constantly, it is crucial to find a scalable solution that can handle the requirements of both today and tomorrow as well. Automation, AI, and ML can minimize manual work and ensure that enterprises can properly manage all the data that comes into their SAP ecosystem.

Find a platform that secures and protects data. Companies must shield sensitive data from internal and external threats. A data breach can cause significant financial penalties and severe reputational damage. Even if an attack does not occur, improperly managing data can lead to compliance issues and related penalties. Companies must consider security and compliance when deciding on a data platform, in addition to cost and capabilities.

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