Protegrity: Empowering Businesses with Secure Data

Paul Mountford


“When used correctly and securely, data has the power to supercharge business growth. Businesses that meet the challenge — the ones that are able to share data while mitigating privacy risk — are innovating faster and driving opportunity.”

The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted digital transformation in enterprises, with millions of employees transitioning to remote work, putting a strain on cloud-enabled workloads and applications. To further complicate the matter, according to Gartner approximately 70% of organizations cite security as the number one factor limiting their adoption of cloud.

That said, in a 2021 IBM survey, nearly 80% of enterprises put responding to and recovering from the pandemic through cloud investments in their top four priorities. Clearly, businesses are embracing multi-cloud as the new normal. And, as they shed their on-premise, legacy systems, they’re also shedding legacy thinking for securing the data that powers the modern enterprise.

Paul Mountford, Chief Executive Officer of Protegrity, a leading data-centric security solutions provider, believes this change in approach is critical. “Fundamentally changing how your organization approaches data requires more than just a few new software purchases and data migration projects,” he says. “It also requires a shift in mindset and strategy.”

The GRC Challenge
Companies have been trapped in a vicious cycle of increased complexity, costs, and penalties for compliance with data privacy laws. Enterprise data governance is often a relic of the past, driven by manual, paper-driven processes that lack auditability. The challenge is further compounded by the fact that only 8% of organizations can confidently find their sensitive or high-risk data, according to Big ID’s State of Data Security 2022 Report.

Enter Protegrity, which helps businesses change the playing field by using their data as a competitive advantage. Protegrity delivers privacy automation that delivers efficiencies at scale to find, protect, and audit compliance for a complex and evolving landscape of privacy laws.

“As a security solutions provider, Protegrity empowers the world’s largest banks, the top health insurance providers, and the world’s leading multinational companies with secure data,” says Mountford.“When used correctly and securely, data has the power to supercharge business growth. Businesses that meet this challenge are innovating faster and driving opportunity.”

Landscape Complexity
As the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) landscape becomes more complex, it is imperative for businesses to stay agile and flexible with their data use, while protecting customer privacy. Protegrity’s vision for data protection anticipates the complex future of GRC and prepares businesses for how to get the most out of their sensitive data while also mitigating risk and delivering global data sovereignty.

“With the transition to remote work, enterprises are leveraging new cloud-based technologies, letting third-party BYOD onto their networks, and are still on the hook to enforce data governance,” says Mountford. “They must not only take cumbersome extra steps to secure their sensitive data, but also extend security to protect environments which have proven difficult to control.”

In the face of cyber-attacks and complex privacy regulations, companies must leverage advanced data privacy practices that meet compliance standards while allowing data to be utilized and shareable. This can be done through a combination of strategies offered by Protegrity that includes locating and categorizing where all sensitive data is hiding and applying precision security methods, such as vaultless tokenization, format-preserving encryption (FPE), dynamic data masking, and anonymization, directly to the data itself.

With these methods, Protegrity helps its customers to prepare for data sovereignty requirements and secure data as it travels throughout business applications, homegrown mainframes, native clouds, and beyond. This unique approach to data protection focuses on securing data directly at the source and preserving its privacy while ensuring that it remains artificial intelligence/machine-learning-friendly.

The company’s precision data protection platform allows businesses to create a shared enterprise data protection service that scales their existing security teams. The central service will enable developers, database administrators, architects, and more to deliver data security that meets the enterprise’s specific GRC policies.

This unique capability allows enterprises to centralize policy, audit, logging, and monitoring for protected data across their hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Data protection is embeddable throughout their enterprise architecture to protect data at-rest, in-motion, or in-use. Because not all data is the same, Protegrity provides a variety of protection methods to meet different use cases.

Enabling Data Privacy
Protegrity is the leader in enabling data privacy and security, which are crucial pillars of data governance. The company enables enterprises using multiple software applications and cloud platforms to embed auditable data security and privacy into the data workflow. Sensitive data element monitoring and protection enable continuous compliance for PII, PCI, PHI, and IP.

Protegrity first helps its customers to identify use cases, architectural patterns, and governance challenges. Then, its sensitive data discovery and classification tool help customers establish enterprise data policies and make quality, real-time decisions, so they can use their data to become more intelligent, faster, more accurate, and more effective. Protegrity also integrates its platform with data catalogs to enhance customer situational awareness and ensure consistent policy enforcement.

“Additionally, our company works with customers to establish data sharing patterns across business silos using protected data sets, which can be analyzed without being reidentified, to perform analytics and accelerate business,” adds Mountford.

Protegrity’s platform offers a range of protection methods, such as tokenization, encryption, and anonymization, to meet customer needs across a wide range of data types. Because the data itself is protected wherever it resides through the finest-grained security, companies can rest assured knowing their most sensitive data is safe to securely travel throughout business applications, homegrown mainframes, native clouds, and beyond. The result is a centralized security policy with decentralized enforcement that prepares any company for modern data sovereignty requirements.

Protegrity’s Data Protection Platform provides the innermost level of protection for a company’s most important data. As opposed to an outside-in approach which starts with protecting the perimeter of the client organization, Protegrity’s platform prioritizes data security as the first line of defense. As Mountford points out, “At Protegrity, our starting assumption is that no one should see PII, but we understand that companies still need to be able to perform analytics on it. By deidentifying data, Protegrity widens the aperture for how many tools customers can use to protect their data so that their data can still be used, shared, and analyzed.”

Unleash the Potential of Data
“Much of what data governance platforms and providers are focusing on today is the ability of the enterprise to have situational awareness and an ability to centralize management of data access across the enterprise,” said Mountford. “Frankly, where they are struggling is in helping to remove the barriers to sharing data internally. With Protegrity, customers can share privacy-enhanced data sets to drive innovation inside their business and with their supply chains, vendors, and partners.”

Since opening its doors in 1996, Protegrity has delivered cutting-edge data security solutions to its global clientele. Recently, the company commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying Protegrity solutions. The report found that key benefits include efficiency gains for application builders and information security officers, reduced time-to-value for new applications and services, increased revenue from new income streams, reduced cost of compliance, and improved security.

Said Mountford, “Inside Protegrity, we’re shaping what’s important to data. We believe data has no sense of identity or nationality, and that everyone, no matter their nationality or language, deserves equal protection. To date, most security solutions have been designed for English character sets. That’s why we put effort into our Unicode solution, even before customers asked.”

Protegrity’s leadership team is committed to doing everything possible to foster a culture of innovation. The company has a system called the Innovation Pipeline, which captures and evaluates innovation for products, processes, and technologies that will benefit customers. Often, those employees with great ideas go on to lead the teams that build the new capability. This help creates excellent results for customers and employees alike.

“Looking at the big picture for the future, we see Protegrity as the universal standard for data protection. We believe that Protegrity will make the right and desire for privacy an easy reality for enterprises of all sizes,” concludes Mountford.

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