Case Study – Audit Challenges

Audit Large Scale Environments with Ease Using Acceletest

 

Problem

It is common practice to replicate production data to lower environments in support of development and testing efforts. While there are several challenges associated with this practice, the biggest issue is the risk associated with exposing sensitive data, since lower environments are not typically controlled and governed with the same rigor as production. In addition, while lower environments tend to have smaller datasets than production, the amount of data is often too large to audit manually. To assist with auditing sensitive data in large lower environments for the presence of Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Meridian was tasked with providing a solution for use in datasets as large as 9 billion rows and databases as large as 200TB.

Solution

Meridian Technologies Acceletest product is highly scalable and easily accommodates large relational and file based datasets. The audit engine was configured to uniquely identify an individual and match PHI identifiers between lower and production databases. Because matches were performed at the record level, auditing large datasets is uniquely more challenging. Acceletest partitioning options were leveraged to minimize database strain when querying large datasets, as simple extract queries can overwhelm DBMSs depending on installed settings.  In addition, to work around limited execution windows associated with production usage and scheduled maintenance, Acceletest secured cache, concurrent processing and auto restart options were utilized to optimize performance and enhance failover opportunities.

Result

Despite potential challenges associated with auditing large databases, Acceletest successfully audited over 100 billion records and confirmed the presence of PHI and PII in non-production environments that required remediation. Using built-in options, Acceletest is highly configurable to audit large-scale environments for sensitive data and reduced the time and effort required to audit our client’s environment by 80%.

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