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Snowflake Security - The essentials

Written by Lex Pierik
Tuesday 13 April, 2021

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not an expert in security. Sure, I know you need to lock your front door, but not which type of lock is the best or which certificates it comes with.

For me it’s the same with storing your data, I know security is really important, but there are a lot of terms around security that puzzles me. This is why I dived a bit deeper in the security around Snowflake and I like to break down what I found.


The door is locked

First, the door is locked. Same with the front door of your house you cannot access Snowflake without a key. In this case the key is a user / password combination.

To make it even meet modern security standards Snowflake can use multi factor authentication. This means it sends you a code on your phone you need to provide back. Or features like Single Sign On, so you don’t even need to choose a new password but use the authentication from your company to login. 

If you want to learn more on authentication in Snowflake, please read the following page.


Safe environment

Next to having a proper lock Snowflake also makes sure you can only login from a safe environment. So only approved locations are allowed in, for example from your home address or your office. 

Also, it is possible to enable VPN which makes it even more secure because of an additional security layer. 

Again, if you want to read more, please read the following page.


Access for others

Finally there are loads of options to make sure that people who have access to your Snowflake only have access to data they should have access to. In my opinion this is not really a lot different from traditional databases. Snowflake provides granular control over access to objects. My simple take from this is that you are a user, with a certain role (Role-based Access Control (RBAC)). Based on that role you have access to different tables. And, obviously, you can have multiple roles as a user. 

Maybe good to add, and this makes Snowflake even more secure that traditional, on premise databases, is the lack of a super-user. There is no one user that rules us all.

If you want to learn more about authorization please read the following page.


Conclusion

So, to conclude…..Snowflake seems to take security really seriously, but again, I’m not the expert. If you are an expert, please take a good look yourself at all documentation provided by Snowflake. If you are like me, passionate about making data available, easier and faster, but not an expert! Please contact one of our experts to help you learn more. 


- Lex