How Advantis ensures that their employees, customers and partners’ information is protected

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The Customer

Location: Portland, Oregon

Industry: Financial Services

Products: DatAdvantage

Advantis is one of Oregon’s largest member-owned financial cooperatives, with over 43,000 members and four branches in the Portland area. According to Callahan & Associates, a national research and consulting firm that analyzes credit union performance, Advantis was recently ranked the top credit union in the United States for returning financial value to members during the second quarter of 2011.

We selected Varonis to ensure the right data will be made available to the right people, and only the right people. We want our employees, customers and partners to have confidence that their information is protected.

– Jason Rohrbach Senior Systems Administrator, Advantis Credit Union

The Challenge

The regional credit union wanted a solution to streamline the data governance of its unstructured and semi-structured data. They also wanted deeper visibility into how data was being accessed, when content was moved or deleted, how it was being used, and by whom.

Advantis needed a centralized way to gain visibility into how and when employees were accessing data, and an automated process for changing or revoking access privileges. “We needed a strategy and process that would govern appropriate and authorized use of our business data and reduce the risk of data misuse. Looking for things after the fact is just too little, too late,” said Jason Rohrbach, Senior Systems Administrator for Advantis. “Ultimately that led us to Varonis.”

Evaluation Parameters

Managing and protecting data without automation is as inefficient and costly as trying to find information on the Internet without a decent search engine. Rohrbach knew that his team would need automated analysis of the credit union’s permissions structure and access activity to evaluate access controls and identify data owners. Automation would also help them keep up with the rapidly growing list of data management-related tasks such as permissions management, data auditing, data ownership, data classification, data migrations and archiving.

Being able to simulate and model changes without disrupting existing business processes was also key. Ensuring that only the right people can get to the right data at all times not only reduces the odds of misuse, it also makes any subsequent safeguards and data loss prevention techniques more cost effective and pragmatic to deploy. “We selected Varonis to ensure the right data will be made available to the right people, and only the right people,” Rohrbach explains. “We want our employees, customers and partners to have confidence that their information is protected.”

The Solution

Varonis DatAdvantage automates access and permission management for unstructured and semi-structured data on file systems, NAS devices, SharePoint site and Exchange mailboxes, providing visibility into existing access controls, data usage, and recommendations for tightening up access and group membership. DatAdvantage also provides customers with the ability to model or sandbox permissions and group membership changes before committing them without negatively impacting productivity.

“Implementation was a piece of cake,” Rohrbach said. “It was extremely painless.”

Rohrbach noted that the user interface within DatAdvantage was intuitive and straightforward. “Once we were up and running, it was a real eye-opener for our team,” Rohrbach said. Varonis showed him usage patterns and highlighted patterns of overly permissive access. Advantis’ IT group could now see, for example, who accessed or deleted certain files on a specific day – something that would have been impossible previously.

The automation capabilities within DatAdvantage have allowed Advantis to monitor user access, and ensure that permissions are both accurate and up to date. “With Varonis we are able to see, just with a few clicks of the mouse, which folders are too accessible and either tighten down controls or move the files to a more secure place,” Rohrbach explains.

Business Benefits

Visibility of Advantis Data Permissions

DatAdvantage gives Advantis visibility into potential data risks by uncovering overly permissive access.

Full Auditing for Compliance

DatAdvantage access auditing lets Advantis easily report on access behaviors and document data handling to meet any legal, compliance or industry regulation requirements.

Data Protection

DatAdvantage generates detailed statistics, alerts, and a searchable log of every file-touch, enabling Advantis IT administrators to rapidly identify and report on excessive file opens, deletes or other such anomalous behaviors.