3 New Snowflake Features for Governance and Security We Can’t Wait to Use

Learn about some of the exciting new Snowflake features unveiled at Summit 2024 and what they mean for governance and security in the AI Data Cloud.
June 6, 2024
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Data Cloud Summit 2024 has been an electrifying and inspirational look at what the future holds for the Snowflake AI Data Cloud and its surrounding ecosystem. This included a host of new Snowflake features dialed in at the intersection of AI-powered innovation and high-impact, outcome-focused data use cases. 

Across two keynote addresses at the event this week in San Francisco, Snowflake CEO Sridhar Ramaswamy clarified his vision for the recently rebranded AI Data Cloud, which he called “the platform for enterprise AI.” 

Ramaswamy also underscored the fast-paced and deeply-integrated nature of Snowflake’s innovation roadmap, commenting: “We’ve permanently accelerated our pace of delivery. Whether it’s in generative AI or MLOps, you know that every one of our innovations is deeply integrated into our platform.”

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at three new Snowflake features that reflect that commitment to innovation in and around the cloud, representing a wide range of data governance and security use cases.

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Universal Search in Snowsight (General Availability)

Universal Search, now in general availability in Snowsight, introduces an intuitive new approach to data querying with an unlikely marriage ​​of robust data governance and self-service data enablement. Universal Search allows users to quickly and securely find more objects in Snowflake using asset metadata, including expanded support for worksheets, dashboards, and natural language questions in searches. Other benefits and applications of this feature rollout include:

  • Intuitive Data Exploration: Snowsight Universal Search provides an intuitive interface for users to explore data, allowing them to search across databases, tables, columns, and even specific data values. This capability simplifies data discovery and fosters data literacy by enabling users to quickly find and understand relevant data.
  • Empowered Self-Service Analytics: By offering a unified search experience, Snowsight empowers end users to perform self-service analytics without needing extensive SQL knowledge or assistance from data experts. This democratization of data access and analysis promotes data enablement throughout the organization.
  • Contextual Insights: Snowsight Universal Search enhances data understanding by providing contextual insights alongside search results. Users can access metadata, data previews, and other relevant information, helping them interpret and utilize the data effectively.
  • Efficient Collaboration: The ability to search and explore data efficiently facilitates collaboration among team members. Users can easily share insights, query results, or data artifacts discovered through Snowsight, fostering a collaborative data culture and accelerating decision-making processes.
  • Data Governance and Compliance: Despite enabling self-service access to data, Snowsight Universal Search maintains robust data governance and compliance standards. Administrators can enforce access controls, audit data usage, and monitor search activities, ensuring data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance.

Trust Center (Preview)

The Trust Center, which is expected to enter general availability in the near future, is a built-in, easy-to-use interface for the discovery and resolution of security risks. Additional enhancements to the Trust Center will set it up to continuously scan Snowflake Native Apps for software vulnerabilities while equipping providers with insights and alerts. Additional improvements to authentication, networking, and private link connectivity, meanwhile, will further strengthen security in Snowflake. Other features of the Trust Center to look out for include:

  • Security Best Practices Guidance: The CIS Snowflake Benchmarks serve as a comprehensive set of security best practices specifically tailored for Snowflake account configurations. By integrating the CIS benchmark scanner into the Trust Center, Snowflake empowers end users to adhere to these guidelines effortlessly, enhancing data security literacy across the organization.
  • Automated Security Assessments: The CIS benchmark scanner automates the process of evaluating Snowflake account configurations against the established best practices. This automation not only reduces manual effort but also enables end users to quickly identify and address potential security vulnerabilities without deep technical expertise, thereby fostering data enablement.
  • Proactive Risk Mitigation: By regularly scanning and assessing Snowflake account configurations against the CIS benchmarks, organizations can proactively identify and mitigate security risks. End users gain insights into potential vulnerabilities and learn to implement security controls effectively, thus enhancing their data literacy and contributing to a more secure data environment.
  • Educational Opportunities: The CIS benchmark scanner not only identifies security gaps but also provides educational resources and recommendations for remediation. This educational aspect helps end users understand the rationale behind each best practice and learn how to apply them effectively, further promoting data literacy and security awareness.
  • Continuous Compliance Monitoring: The integration of the CIS benchmark scanner within the Trust Center enables continuous compliance monitoring. End users can track their adherence to security best practices over time, ensuring ongoing compliance with industry standards and regulations while continually improving their data security literacy.
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Snowflake Horizon

Rounding out the list, Snowflake has announced a host of new capabilities for the Snowflake Horizon suite, their built-in governance and discovery solution. 

First showcased last November, Horizon includes a host of built-in compliance, security, privacy, interoperability, and access capabilities, acting as a central hub where enterprises can discover and govern data, apps, and models. 

New updates to the suite announced this week include the Internal Marketplace, currently in private preview, which describes objects with the help of a Snowflake Copilot AI and allows enterprise users to curate and publish models, applications, and with other data products securely to internal teams while preventing unintended access by outside parties.

Putting These New Snowflake Features Into Action with Hakkōda

The plethora of new Snowflake features unveiled this week promise to help make data in the cloud easier to explore, govern, and secure—three crucial objectives that can at times prove difficult to reconcile. 

There is no doubt these expansions and releases will have far-reaching effects on the modern data stack while helping enterprises do even more with their data. The Hakkoda team can’t wait to leverage these features to bring value to our clients, and to amplify Snowflake’s permanent acceleration with the right blend of industry depth and technical expertise.  

Excited to leverage the latest and greatest Snowflake features to push the envelope in still newer and bolder directions, but don’t quite know where to get started? Talk to one of our Snowflake consultants today.

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