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London (UK): Varonis, the leading provider of comprehensive data governance software, today detailed how it has helped AXA Wealth identify and control its data permissions. The financial services company has been able to simplify its network sharing system with Varonis DatAdvantage, gaining clear visibility into every file opened, created, modified and deleted by every user accessing its file servers. Using DataPrivilege it has introduced an automated permissions process where its users can request access to a group, and the data owners are automatically involved in the decision to either grant or revoke access without IT intervention.

Speaking about the benefits of the project, Serena Lee, senior security analyst, AXA Wealth, explains: “As soon as we installed DatAdvantage we were able to answer many of the previously elusive questions – a major breakthrough. We now simply check DatAdvantage to see which groups grant access to any given folder, or which folders a group can access, to make the appropriate permissions allocation. By utilising DatAdvantage’s automated recommendations we could identify excessive group memberships and remove users from the groups they no longer needed to be in. It didn’t take long for us to get all our permissions sorted out.”

With a complete, bi-directional view into the permissions structure of its unstructured and semi-structured file systems AXA Wealth’s service desk could immediately answer the question of who had access to any given folder. As it aggregates Active Directory user and group details, ACL information and all data access events — without requiring native OS auditing — AXA Wealth has clear visibility into every file open, create, modify and delete, by every user. Monitoring this intelligence allows AXA Wealth to identify who the correct data owners are, and then get them involved in making sure the right access and usage is assigned.

With DataPrivilege, AXA Wealth has introduced a self-service authorisation process. Like many organisations, the company had a traditional file server where access control lists contain Active Directory security groups. In its case, each security group has an owner, and the owner manages access to that security group to authorise access to the shared directory. Previously, one full-time person spent their day manually collating and circulating lists to the group owners, who then had to review and take people out who did not need access, and add others who did.

Today, using DataPrivilege, the process is fully automated and this time can be spent otherwise. Lee concludes: “Today users can request access to a group, and the data owners are automatically involved in the decision to either grant or revoke access without IT intervention. This not only speeds the process up, but also frees up IT to perform other tasks.