Microsoft debuts Azure Data Share Preview

On July 11, 2019 Mike Flasko, Director of Program Management, Information Management & Governance for Microsoft published “Announcing Preview of Azure Data Share”“. As Eldert Grootenboer writes for Infoq Azure Data Share “…provides [organizations] capabilities to share data [internally], as well as with other organizations.”

What’s the big deal? Sharing data with other organizations

Anyone studying recent history of successful cyber criminal activity will note one of the favorite methods of gaining entry to an organization over the last couple of years has been through weak links found along the supply chain. Azure Data Share should plug up some of the supply chain hole. Providing a method to simply share data as opposed to granting unlimited permission to access data via logins and passwords reduces the possible damage resulting from a compromised email account owned by partner personnel down the supply chain. Sure, hackers may still be able to gain entry via the access credentials they capture through such an attack, but if the real data “gems” are merely shared, then the hub organization (at the center of the supply chain) can limit the right to access data (“…govern use by associating term of use with each data share created…”) to specific criteria outside of said hacker’s foreknowledge/preparation.

Any other applications worth thinking about? Monetize user data sharing in conformance with global data privacy regulations

Todd Bishop who writes for Geekwire presents another take on Azure Data Share’s “raison d’etre”. Bishop’s story includes a quote attributed to Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President for Azure data at Microsoft: “[I]n many cases, the internal data produced by an organization or its customers is broadly applicable enough that it’s valuable and insightful to other companies and groups…” Per Bishop, Kumar even sees an opportunity, sometime in the future, when Microsoft “…could operate a marketplace where data could be more easily monetized and shared…” From Kumar’s remarks it’s clear Microsoft’s earlier product offerings for Digital Rights Management (DRM) provided much needed experience for the development of a product like Azure Data Share.

Who else offers this type of solution? No direct competitors as of this article publication date

Impact for Microsoft? Azure Data Share deepens Microsoft’s branding as the most secure option for data security in the cloud & opens the door for follow-on products

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