A company’s database is its memory center. It holds business-critical information around the company’s past, present and future.
Depending on the organization, their databases might hold customer and employee information, contract terms, transaction records, service or product IP, vendor information, supply chain and inventory logistics and much, much more.
Protecting and governing this information is just as important as capturing and storing it — especially when it comes to the business's growth trajectory.
The power of database replication
In today's digitally interconnected world, learning from your data is a core competitive advantage in business. As organizations strive to leverage data to improve efficiency, drive better decision-making and ultimately innovate — data governance and security are integral. This holds particularly true when it comes to database replication, a process that fuels information sharing, business continuity and expansion strategy.
Database replication involves the process of copying and synchronizing data from one database to a target destination, sometimes in real-time or near-real-time. This technology has revolutionized the way organizations operate by facilitating data distribution across geographical boundaries, optimizing performance and enabling high availability and disaster recovery responses.
Whether it's multinational corporations managing remote sites, manufacturers ensuring seamless and efficient supply chain logistics or healthcare providers guaranteeing uninterrupted patient care — reliable database replication plays a pivotal role.
How to uphold data security
Data security is the cornerstone of maintaining trust and credibility in the digital age. In the context of database replication, security is integral due to the potential risks associated with sensitive, business-critical database data exposure, unauthorized access and cyberattacks.
Ensure you’re following these four security measures to maintain full control over your business’s most valuable asset — its data.
- Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements: Many industries and geographies are subject to strict regulations (HIPAA, GDPR) regarding data storage, sharing and protection. Implementing governed data movement practices like restricted data residency and metadata tracking ensures that replicated data adheres to these regulations, preventing legal complications and financial repercussions.
- Avoid the internet when replicating business-critical data: Replicated data often traverses unsecured networks. Employing strong encryption protocols like private networking ensures that sensitive information remains unreadable to unauthorized parties, by avoiding the public internet.
- Block or anonymize sensitive data from replicating: Before replicating data, it's wise to consider blocking or hashing anonymizing sensitive information, removing or replacing the actual values with fictional data before it ever enters your data infrastructure. This approach safeguards sensitive data without compromising the replication process while still allowing data joins across sources.
- Monitoring and auditing: Real-time monitoring and auditing of replicated data help detect anomalies, suspicious activities and unauthorized access. Timely intervention can help mitigate potential security breaches. Without visibility into data movement and usage, it’s difficult to conduct meaningful audits in a timely enough manner to detect and prevent data misuse.
The Fivetran platform comes with robust security certifications and features baked-in to ensure data is protected as it moves from source to destination. Fivetran Business Critical has private networking capabilities, moving data from source to destination with no exposure to the public internet.
Fivetran’s schema settings also make it super easy to block sensitive or unneeded columns or objects from syncing to the destination. Where sensitive data holds analytic value, Fivetran can hash that data, assigning it an anonymised value in the destination. This keeps PII out of the wrong hands while still enabling joins across data sets.
The Fivetran Platform Connector also sends a record of activity happening on the Fivetran platform to homegrown or third party cataloging tools, unlocking the ability to easily monitor and quickly audit data handling.
Best practices for governed data movement
Governed data movement encompasses the strategy, policies, processes and controls that ensure data quality and compliance across an organization’s data infrastructure.
Effective governance is especially crucial when implementing database replication, as the exposure of sensitive or restricted data to the wrong audience can have expensive, litigious repercussions for the brand and its reputation.
Four best practices help protect your organization’s data quality, responsibility, compliance and infrastructure.
- Set granular, role-based data access: Implementing stringent access controls to ensure that only authorized personnel can access and modify replicated data keeps sensitive data out of the wrong hands. Role-based access control should be enforced at the pipeline level to minimize the risk of data mishandling.
- Maintain consistency and accuracy across data ecosystems: Replicated data must remain consistent and accurate across all instances to avoid misinformation and misalignment. Proper data lineage and governance help ensure that data definitions, standards and validation rules are consistently applied during the replication process.
- Enforce accountability with transparent data ownership: Governed data movement helps define the ownership of data and drives accountability for its accuracy, reliability and quality. This clarity can prevent replication errors and minimizes the risk of misinformation downstream.
- Standardize change management processes: As organizations evolve, databases undergo schema changes and updates. A robust governance strategy enables root cause and impact analysis, ensuring these changes are managed properly across replicated databases, maintaining up-time and system functionality.
While Fivetran is not a data governance tool, it is a governed data movement tool.
Fivetran enhances the automation and extensibility of governance in the modern data stack by governing data in-flight. This reduces or eliminates ungoverned data from landing in the destination in the first place.
Advanced access control settings also give users the ability to limit access to certain accounts, destinations and connectors. RBAC Teams makes onboarding new users a breeze by enabling administrators to pre-configure access for specific teams.
Full source to destination mapping creates data lineage, empowering end data consumers to use and understand their data better.They’ll always know where their data came from and who to ask if they have a question.
For enterprises managing vast volumes of data sources, programmatic processes make this manageable. Fivetran’s Terraform and Airflow providers bring the power and automation of the Fivetran platform to developers’ fingertips. This streamlines the version control process, unlocks downstream impact analysis and expedites root cause analysis for troubleshooting.
Striking the balance for a secure future
The data team at Care.com, a global online marketplace for varying care services, needed a way to migrate from clunky legacy databases and homegrown systems to a modern, cloud-based infrastructure.
Our strict data delivery SLAs, enterprise database connector coverage and granular access control settings made Fivetran the right tool for the job.
With governance and security top of mind, the team leveraged Fivetran to move their company data from MySQL, Oracle, DynamoDB, S3 and PostgreSQL databases to new Snowflake environments. There the data is cleansed, transformed and available for analysts to ‘shop’ for reliable, queryable data from domain-specific Snowflake data marts.
Care.com’s engineering team saves hours of work every day using Fivetran for data movement instead of homegrown pipelines. This greatly accelerates their ability to deliver clean, queryable data in time to impact decision making.
Fivetran’s advanced RBAC settings also gave them the capability to democratize some of the SaaS pipeline management to teams outside of the core data team, without sacrificing their visibility and control over the process.
Reliable database replication builds data trust
Database replication offers unparalleled benefits in terms of data distribution, business continuity and strategy. However, without a solid foundation of data governance and security, these benefits can quickly turn into liabilities.
Organizations must recognize that data governance ensures data quality, consistency and compliance, while data security shields against unauthorized access and cyber threats.
By integrating these principles into their data replication strategies, organizations can harness the power of data while safeguarding their digital future.