Microsoft today announced that it has acquired BlueTalon, a cross-platform data access control solutions provider headquartered in Redwood City, California, for an undisclosed amount. In a blog post, corporate vice president of Azure Data Rohan Kumar said the deal will “enhance” Microsoft’s ability to “empower enterprises across industries to digitally transform” while “ensuring right use of data with centralized data governance at scale.”
“The IP and talent acquired through BlueTalon brings a unique expertise at the apex of big data, security and governance,” continued Kumar. “Together with BlueTalon, we are committed to help enterprises become data-driven companies in a secure and compliant manner. We’re excited to welcome the BlueTalon team to Microsoft and can’t wait to get started.”
As BlueTalon CEO Eric Tilenius explained in a press release, data estates — infrastructure that helps companies systematically manage all of their corporate data — are becoming increasingly diverse, with systems from databases and data lakes to software-as-a-service apps spanning on-premises and cloud environments. BlueTalon’s suite aims to eliminate security blind spots arising from the patchwork by affording IT teams greater visibility and control of data, chiefly by allowing them to define sets of policies that support provisioning and continuous auditing of Hadoop, SQL, and NoSQL databases at the column, row, cell, or partial-cell level.
BlueTalon was founded in 2013 by Pratik Verma, and the startup had previously raised $27.4 million in venture capital from backers including Bloomberg Beta, Maverick Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, and Standford’s StartX fund. It’ll join Microsoft’s Azure Data Governance group.
“BlueTalon enterprise customers increasingly began to migrate more and more of their data to the cloud and asked us to support them in that process,” wrote Tilenius. “As we began exploring partnership opportunities with various hyper-scale cloud providers to better serve our customers, Microsoft deeply impressed us … We found them to be the perfect fit for us in both mission and culture.”
Research firm Markets and Markets pegs the data government segment’s worth at $3.53 billion, and it’s no wonder why. Nearly 57% of Gartner survey respondents cited “supporting data governance and data security” as one of the biggest challenges for their data management practice, and a separate study by the Ponemon Institute found that roughly 71% of corporate employees report having access to information they shouldn’t.
Beyond a robust set of data governance tools within Azure, Microsoft’s Microsoft 365 compliance center offers customizable cards that visualize progress toward best practices for data governance. One tabulates a score reflecting the “collective compliance state” of an organization broken into subscores for regulations like GDPR, NIST 800-53, and ISO 27001, while another displays a checklist of suggestions such as “create labels to govern data lifecycle” and “turn on large archive for extra mail storage.” Additionally on tap are cards that break down the noncompliant apps in use by employees and clients, and that highlight users with the most shared files.