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Avalor’s Fast and Flexible Query Engine: Go Ahead, Ask Your Data Anything

September 6, 2023

Avalor CTO Kfir Tishbi explains how we built our Data Fabric for Security™ with total flexibility in mind, including the ability to set up data queries any way you like.

illustration representing the ability of Avalor's flexible query engine to set up data queries any way you want

Querying data to find potential vulnerabilities, identify organizational risks, and glean business insights is one of the most important - and frustrating - responsibilities for security teams.  Because while there is no shortage of data in today’s enterprise, getting real value out of it is often painstaking

It’s like having discovered a goldmine, but you have only a spoon with which to dig and sift through the dirt. 

That’s why the query engine you’re using matters so much, and why we built one sophisticated enough to let you mine your security data like never before. 

How can you pinpoint a needle in the haystack — fast?

To prioritize, communicate, and mitigate security risks you need to know the criticality of security issues across business units in your organization—and you want a view of this data without duplication, gaps, or conflicts. And, you must identify which business units, systems, applications, or supply chain dependencies have vulnerabilities in their environment. Going further, you need to identify if the stakeholders within these groups are meeting their security SLAs and logging remediation efforts in Jira or whichever ticketing system you use. 

And often you need these answers fast—like when the leadership team is presenting a security update to the Board. Today.

If these seem like tough questions to ask in your current data environment, especially in a hurry, consider that to get a truly accurate picture of your security posture, you must query across multiple data-generating security toolscode scanners, SIEM’s, non-traditional incident trackers, etc.and across every aspect of an organization, from product to HR, engineering to marketing—anywhere data is collected. Querying only security data gives you a fraction of the big picture.  

Today, business leaders are demanding their CISO provide more than a cursory overview of how secure their organization is compared to industry peers and legal requirements. They want to see how every function extracts value from the data it generates, how it can help them make better business decisions, including how to prioritize future security investments.  

To learn more about the pressure on CISOs to solve the data-to-decisions gap, check out this blog post from former DocuSign Chief Trust and Security Officer, Emily Heath here.

To get all the answers you need from your data, you need a powerful, flexible query engine.  That’s why we built one, and it’s an integral part of the value of our Data Fabric for Security™.  

Here’s how our query engine is so effective and unique in the industry.

A flexibility-first solution for security data queries

No two enterprises are identical. Despite passing similarities, they prioritize different parts of the business and assess security risks in different ways. Yet most tools for analyzing security data to protect it and enable smarter decision making are anything but flexible. They typically only come with preset query capabilities that look at one piece of your security stack at a time.

This is caused by a restricted vantage point, which means they can only analyze and understand the data from a predetermined point of view. This is problematic in a world where security leaders are breaking down silos to run their organizations as a legitimate business unit rather than a cost center for compliance. A single person within the security team may need to query data from inside and outside the security stack using multiple perspectives: prioritization, research, measurement, mean time to resolution, and more. 

That’s why we built our Data Fabric for Security™ with total flexibility in mind, including the ability to set up data queries any way you like. And, our query engine is built to support multiple use cases.

  • Pre-set or custom queries, you decide:  Our Data Fabric for Security™ comes with predefined query models, but you can go further to view data from different levels and perspectives. For instance, role-based usage to see vulnerabilities within a specific business unit or criticality level of incidents across business units. 
  • Filter on every single field:  Now more than ever, you are looking at all kinds of data to assess and remediate risk. Our query engine lets you set filters across all of your fields and data sets. You’re not restricted to a closed set of fields as is the case with some other query engines.
  • Avalor’s semantic based model lets you query ALL of your data: Unique to our data fabric is the ability to ingest data from any source, in any format–and not just security data. That means that you can create custom queries to get fast answers from every corner of your security data, no matter how obscure. Let me reiterate: you can query any data that you see: on reports, in dashboards, from spreadsheets, etc. Because all the data is being consumed through the query engine, there is a single point of “query” for all the data you’re analyzing with Avalor. 
  • You can also query ‘outside’ your Avalor data catalog: A prime example of our commitment to a flexible solution is the freedom for you to query federated data. For instance, data stored elsewhere in your organization can be used to enrich the data stored in Avalor and pulled in through our query engine.

Our robust query engine helps power your business

The query engine in Avalor’s Data Fabric for Security does more than give you fast answers to hard questions.  It enables the entire security team, from individual analysts to operations managers and CISO-level management to imagine new and exciting ways to use all of your valuable security data to make better business decisions. In fact, the flexibility and speed of our query engine is something our customers tell us they really like. After all, they have done their time in the trenches, manually correlating data just to get the most basic questions answered. Now that they can get the foundational information they need quickly, they can go beyond the basics and query in ways they never could before and get new insights into organizational risk and strategic opportunities.

If you’d like to learn more about our Data Fabric for Security™ and our query engine, let us know.

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