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Securing Your Snowflake Data with Aembit Workload IAM

You’re likely seeing the explosion of workload and machine identities within organizations, and Snowflake’s ecosystem is no exception.
Secure your Snowflake data with Aembit

The Aembit Workload IAM Platform is your identity broker for workloads, Snowflake included. Instead of manually dealing with access credentials via methods like copying-and-pasting, we give you automated control over the end-to-end flow of access between workloads and Snowflake. 

We also allow you to manage access to Snowflake via policy-based access based on identity and dynamic conditions instead of secrets, which are prone to exposure risks and manual maintenance.  

We move you away from long-lived credentials stored in workloads, which, once breached, can be used to access your data, as well as other applications or resources. By automating this process, we not only enhance security but also simplify access management, ensuring you have complete governance over workload permissions.

Snowflake Has Security: Why Do I Need Aembit?

Snowflake provides a robust set of security features designed to protect data stored within its platform. This includes features like data encryption, access controls, and user authentication. However, when it comes to workload-to-workload access  the automated processes or applications that regularly access your Snowflake data – you will often discover a federation problem. The built-in security features don’t cover securing these connections because it involves another party, or more precisely, you have to cross Snowflake’s boundary into other software. This boundary-crossing creates the need for a service that can broker between parties to ensure secure access is granted.  

These workloads could be commercial apps built to work with Snowflake, custom applications, short-lived scripts or serverless applications, partners’ applications running in their environment, or SaaS applications. With this wide range of potential workloads – and the fact they could be running almost anywhere – Aembit Workload IAM extends the security perimeter to ensure comprehensive access management.

Our customers require workload IAM to secure Snowflake access for a few key reasons:

  • Protect Data from Breaches During Workload Access: Enterprises are typically adept at controlling user access to Snowflake, yet often overlook managing workload access to Snowflake. As applications and scripts frequently access Snowflake using privileged credentials, this creates a vulnerable attack surface. In a time where data breaches through workload access are on the rise, securing sensitive information is essential. Unauthorized access poses a risk of substantial financial losses and reputational harm.
  • Automation: Today’s processes for establishing access tend to be either a) very manual or b) ungoverned and ad-hoc.  Automating secure access management reduces the risk of internal errors leading to data exposure. By streamlining and securing access, businesses can run more efficient operations and reduce toil for IT teams.
  • Simplifying Compliance Attestation and Audits: As workload-to-workload access becomes more common, regulatory pressures are growing to govern this type of access more carefully. Many industries are governed by strict requirements that mandate the protection of customer and business data. Ensuring access is securely managed, highly visible, and easily reported on is a key component of compliance.

New Security Capabilities with Aembit

When you deploy Aembit with Snowflake, you get a host of capabilities that are consistent with how we protect other applications. We move you away from long-lived credentials stored in workloads to policy-based access based on identity, and give you the ability to deliver secretless, just-in-time access. With Aembit, you receive:

  • Identity-Based Access: We cryptographically verify the identity of every application that is requesting access to Snowflake, providing you a significantly higher level of security than traditional approaches of assuming access if a valid credential is presented.
  • Universal Federation: Accept and validate identities from almost any environment (cloud, SaaS, on-prem) and seamlessly translate that to a valid Snowflake access credential.
  • Conditional Access Policies: Aembit also can check for conditions beyond identity by establishing dynamic access policies responsive to various factors, including risk levels and sensitivity of data. This ensures that access controls are always aligned with the current security posture.
  • Advanced Monitoring and Logging: With Aembit, every access request and response is monitored and logged, based on both the identity and the credentials issued. This provides a clear audit trail that can be invaluable for compliance reporting, detecting suspicious activities, and responding to incidents.
  • Seamless Integration: Implementing Aembit doesn’t mean overhauling your existing security systems. Its integration with Snowflake is smooth, and we have multiple methods to integrate with workloads that are accessing Snowflake as well.

Accelerating the Move to Secretless Access for Snowflake

We often talk about two types of secrets that are stored on a client workload – and represent risk for stolen or abused credentials: the identity secret and the access secret. Our method of attestation – cryptographically validating an identity based on metadata from the environment, instead of a certificate or similar static secret – eliminates the need for identity secrets.

But we can also eliminate the need for long-lived access secrets stored by the client. Because of Aembit’s architecture, we can transparently replace one type of access credential with another, without requiring code changes within your application. So, while the application might believe it needs to present an API key to Snowflake, Aembit will instead inject a short-lived credential in its place. The requesting application never needs to see or store this credential. This is true for both the workload but also your full-time or contracted developers – they never need to see or handle access credentials.

This becomes especially significant when you realize you might not have ownership over the application, perhaps utilizing a third-party application where modifying the code to integrate with Aembit isn’t an option. Yet, there’s no need for concern – Aembit is designed to seamlessly support that workload without requiring any changes on your part.

To give you flexibility, Aembit supports various methods of authentication with Snowflake, each designed to suit different security needs and deployment scenarios, including: Snowflake key-pair authentication, JWT token authentication, username/password Authentication, and HTTP authentication with bearer scheme. Read more about setup in our docs

Conclusion

Like us, you’re likely seeing the explosion of workload and machine identities within organizations, and Snowflake’s ecosystem is no exception. Aembit helps ensure that businesses can fully leverage the power of Snowflake while maintaining the highest security standards. Secure workload access is not just about protecting data; it’s about building trust in your digital infrastructure, ensuring compliance, and driving operational efficiency. With Aembit and Snowflake, businesses are well equipped to meet the challenges of today’s data security landscape head-on.

You can get started today using our free tier. We’re happy to help you get up and running quickly!

 

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