With Talend, cybersecurity leader Imperva trusts its data — if nothing else
By Kyle Brown
The word “trust” is simply not in the cybersecurity solution providers’ vocabulary. They trust no one and nothing. They develop Zero Trust network architectures to protect clients against external attacks, insider threats, and inadvertent errors that could impact security. And they’re always on the lookout for emerging vulnerabilities across internal and external networks. Trust is a luxury they can’t afford to have — or can they?
Imperva, a cybersecurity leader based in San Mateo, California, discovered that it could strengthen its cybersecurity offerings, customer services, and internal operations with more reliable and… dare we say it… trustworthy internal data.
Recently, Imperva created a unified data warehouse stack using Talend, AWS, Snowflake, and Tableau. This central hub integrates multiple data sources and is now used across almost all of the company’s departments and lines of business. Implementing this single source of data across the organization has created an environment where data is clean, healthy, and accessible for multiple uses and fresh, agile business insights.
From Excel spreadsheets to online insights
Imperva’s mission is to protect data and all paths to it — internally and for its clients. With thousands of enterprise customers in 150 countries, including seven of the 10 top U.S. commercial banks, seven of the 10 top global financial service firms, six of the top 10 global telecom providers, and 34% of the Fortune 100, that’s a lot of data to protect and pathways to defend.
In 2019, Imperva’s own internal data had many paths, many sources, and many outdated processes. “There was no centralized data, data mining, or reporting process; everything was on Excel spreadsheets,” said Rajneesh Sharma, Senior BI and Data Integration Architect at Imperva. “Everything was very hard to track — you had to hunt for data and you couldn’t be sure of its accuracy. Our processes were manual and time-consuming, and everybody had their own version of the data. We needed a better solution.”
Since he had worked with Talend previously, Mr. Sharma recommended a centralized data warehouse based on solutions from Talend, Snowflake, AWS, and Tableau. Talend provides the data integration and cleansing capabilities; Snowflake provides the data repository; AWS hosts the solution in the cloud; and Tableau provides the data analysis and visualization capabilities. “This is a very hot and optimized combination that you cannot beat,” said Mr. Sharma.
At the heart of the solution was Talend Cloud Data Management, which allows businesses to integrate all their cloud and on-premises data into a single platform. It features graphical tools, prebuilt integration templates, and a rich library of components that businesses can use to simplify the process of unifying data.
“Talend is a proven integration platform, and it is constantly evolving and adding new features and capabilities,” said Mr. Sharma. “It’s easy to learn and use, so the learning curve was small for our team. It can also be easily customized — or Talend can provide managed services and build the whole solution for you.”
Today, Imperva has one source of truth for the entire company, according to Mr. Sharma, and the quality of the company’s data is excellent. “We have improved the quality and speed of our reporting tremendously,” he said. “Previously, it took weeks and weeks for the team to access and analyze information. Now it’s all online. Users can access fresh data every 20 minutes or less, without having to come to us at all.”
Imperva has also expanded the use of its data warehouse and reporting capabilities across business functions. “We started in finance and have now extended to marketing, product management, and sales for everything from opportunity and booking analysis, to internal billing and contract review processes, to customer success,” he said. “We now have a customer success dashboard where our executives can quickly see the NPS score, check our response times, resolution times, escalations, and so on. It translates directly to better customer service.”
High quality yields higher trust
The quality and accuracy of the data is vital to the success of Imperva’s unified data warehouse and online reporting capability.
“My success rate with the ETL jobs I’m running every day is 100%,” said Mr. Sharma. “I can show you the last 30-60 days on my screen — and there is zero failure. There are zero tickets from employees complaining about data quality. That keeps the cost of maintenance very low and the trustworthiness of our data very high.”
Equally important, according to Mr. Sharma, is that “Talend empowers our employees because now they can get the information they need, when they need it, with confidence in its quality. And that in turn benefits my team, because they no longer need to spend so much time trying to find, prepare, and report on data — and we can keep our own costs low.”
The bottom line, according to Mr. Sharma, is this: “We’re producing trusted data. There are no more quality issues, accessibility issues, or time and cost issues when it comes to reporting. That’s a huge win across the company — and a huge point of pride across our team.”