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Immuta Introduction

Audience: All Immuta users

Content Summary: This page introduces all users to Immuta, broadly describing Immuta's approach to data access and risk, user roles, data sources, policies, projects, and auditing. To see a demonstration of the basic features and pages in the Immuta UI, view the Immuta Quickstart video.

Use the menu on the left to navigate to tutorials and detailed discussions of major features and concepts.

Immuta: A Single Access Point

The Immuta platform solves two of the largest issues facing data-driven organizations: access and governance. In large organizations, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for data scientists to access all the data they need. Once they do get access, it’s often difficult to make sure they use the data in ways that are compliant.

The Immuta platform solves both problems by providing a single, unified access point for data across an organization and ensuring that all restrictions placed on data are dynamically enforced through the platform. This unification removes friction between analysts and compliance professionals by creating digital data exchanges compliant with an organization's regulations and providing complete visibility and flexibility into how polices are enforced and monitored.

Immuta Architecture

Immuta User Roles

User roles in Immuta are fluid and interdependent, and understanding these different roles is essential to effectively sharing, analyzing, and protecting data and maintaining compliance.

  • Data Owners: In order for data to be available in the Immuta platform, a Data Owner — the individual or team responsible for the data — needs to connect their data to Immuta. Once data is connected to Immuta, that data is called a data source. In the process of creating a data source, Data Owners are able to set policies on their data source that restrict which users can access it, which rows within the data a user can access, and which columns within the data source are visible or masked. Data Owners can also decide whether to make their data source public, which makes it available for discovery to all users in the Immuta Web UI, or made private, which means only the Data Owner and its assigned subscribers know it exists.

  • Data Users: Data Users consume the data that’s been made available through Immuta. Data Users can browse the Immuta Web UI seeking access to data and easily connect their third-party data science tools to Immuta.

  • Project Owners: These users can create their own project to restrict how their data will be utilized using purpose-based restrictions or to efficiently organize their data sources.

  • Governors: Governors set Global Policies within Immuta, meaning they can restrict the ways that data is used within Immuta across multiple projects and data sources. Governors can also set purpose-based usage restrictions on projects, which can help limit the ways that data is used within Immuta. By default, Governors can subscribe to data sources; however, this setting can be disabled in the Immuta Configuration, removing the Governor's ability to create or subscribe to data sources. Additionally, users can be a Governor and Admin simultaneously by default, but this setting can also be changed in the Configuration Builder, rendering the Governor and Admin roles mutually exclusive.

  • Admins: Another type of Immuta user is the System Administrator, who is able to manage the permissions, authorizations, and groups that attach to each user. Permissions are only managed locally within Immuta, but groups and authorizations can be managed locally or derived from user management frameworks such as LDAP or Active Directory that are external to Immuta. Audit users, who have special privileges similar to Admins, have the ability to view all of the audit logs within Immuta. By default, Admins can subscribe to data sources; however, this setting can be disabled in the Immuta Configuration, removing the Admin's ability to create or subscribe to data sources. Additionally, users can be an Admin and Governor simultaneously by default, but this setting can also be changed in the Configuration Builder, rendering the Admin and Governor roles mutually exclusive.

Major Elements

Data Sources

A data source is how users virtually expose data (that lives in a remote data storage technology) across their enterprise to other users. When you expose a data source you are not copying the data; you are using metadata to tell Immuta how to expose it. Once exposed and subscribed to, the data will be accessed in a consistent manner across analytics and visualization tools, allowing reproducibility and sharing.

For more information and tutorials about data sources, see the Data Sources section.

Policies

Policies are fine-grained security controls applied to data sources by Data Owners or Data Governors, who determine the logic behind what is hidden from whom. Once policies are applied to a data source, data is hidden, masked, redacted, and anonymized in the control plane based on the attributes of the users accessing the data and the purpose under which they are acting.

Policies can be created through the Immuta workflows, or custom policy handlers can be created to inject complex policies.

For more information and tutorials about policies, see the Policies section.

Projects

Projects allow users to logically group work by linking data sources and can be created to efficiently organize work or to provide special access to data to specific users.

The same security restrictions regarding data sources are applied to projects; project members still need to be subscribed to data sources in order to access data, and only users with appropriate authorizations and credentials will be able to see the data if it contains any row-level or masking security. However, Project Owners can enable Project Equalization, which improves collaboration by ensuring that the data in the project looks identical to all members, regardless of their level of access to data. When enabled, this feature automatically equalizes all permissions so that no project member has more access to data than the member with the least access.

For more detailed discussion and tutorials about projects, see the Projects section.

Audit Logs and Immuta Reports

All activity in Immuta is audited, and Data Owners and users with the AUDIT permission can access rich audit logs that detail who subscribes to each data source, why they subscribe, when they access data, and which files they access. These logs can be used for a number of intentions, including insider threat surveillance and data access monitoring for billing purposes. Audit logs can also be shipped to your enterprise auditing capability, if desired.

Similarly, Governors can build Immuta Reports to analyze how data is being used and accessed across Immuta using the Immuta Report Builder. Reports can be based on users, groups, projects, data sources, tags, purposes, policies, and connections within Immuta.

For more information and tutorials about audit logs and Immuta Reports, see the Viewing Audit Logs tutorial and the Immuta Reports guide, respectively.

Immuta Quickstart Video