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The Future of Data Access Control: Booz Allen Hamilton’s Approach to Securing our Databricks Lakehouse with Immuta

Wednesday, June 28 @3:30 PM
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In this talk, I’ll review how we utilize Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) to enforce policy via Immuta. I’ll discuss the differences between the ABAC and legacy Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) approaches to control access and how the RBAC approach is not sufficient to keep up with today’s growing big data market. With so much data available, there also comes substantial risk. Data can contain many sensitive data elements, including PII and PHI. Industry leaders like Databricks are pushing the boundaries of data technology, which leads to constantly evolving data use cases. And that’s a good thing. However, the RBAC approach is struggling to keep up with those advancements.


So what is RBAC? It’s an approach to data access that permits system access based on the end-user’s role. For legacy systems, it’s meant as a simple but effective approach to securing data. Are you a manager? Then you’ll get access to data meant for managers. This is great for small deployments with clearly defined roles. Here at Booz Allen, we invested in Databricks because we have an environment of over 30 thousand users and billions of rows of data.


To mitigate this problem and align with our forward-thinking company standard, we introduced Immuta into our stack. Immuta uses ABAC to allow for dynamic data access control. Users are automatically assigned certain attributes, and access is based on those attributes instead of just their role. This allows for more flexibility and allows data access control to easily scale without the need to constantly map a user to their role. Using attributes, we can write policies in one place and have them applied across all our data platforms. This makes for a truly holistic data governance approach and provides immediate ROI and time savings for the company.


  • Lightning Talk


  • In Person


  • Data Governance, Databricks Experience (DBX)


  • Enterprise Technology, Financial Services, Professional Services, Public Sector


  • Intermediate


  • 20 min
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Session Speakers

Headshot of Jeffrey Hess

Jeffrey Hess

Lead Technologist

Booz Allen Hamilton

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