Case Study

Data Privacy and Protection at a US Healthcare Services Company

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Company Profile
Healthcare Services
Fortune 500


This PKWARE customer has grown over decades in healthcare management service across the United States. The company provides behavioral healthcare treatment and management services to health plans and other managed care organizations, employers, labor unions, various military and governmental agencies, pharmacies, and third-party administrators. The company employs over 11,000 people and generates over $7B in annual revenue.


The customer’s data lake team was in the process of updating their environment to provide business user subject matter experts access to raw data with context for analytics, yet, being regulated by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the first challenge was to identify a platform-agnostic masking solution for all the Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), also sometimes known as Personal Information (PI), across their disparate on-premises systems to first protect the privacy of all the individual’s personal data.

During the evaluation process, the decision was made to migrate the data lake to AWS based on a top down initiative to modernize their outdated on-premises systems. A second challenge was
for the customer to find a data security vendor that offered a variety of masking options for both on-premises as well as cloud platforms.

Given the magnitude of the data to be migrated, the third challenge included securely migrating sensitive PI/PHI from various data stores to the AWS S3 bucket without any risk of violating HIPAA.

Up until that time, the customer’s data lake was strictly on-premises and they were using a manual scanning process to find their PHI/PI. They had employed a Delphix masking solution for on-premises RDBMS. Delphix proved unable to support the AWS cloud environments the customer needed, such as EMR and S3. It was clear to the customer they would need to find a qualified enterprise software vendor already proven successful in partnering with AWS, who could provide automated data discovery and masking solutions for sensitive data at scale in all their structured, unstructured, and semi-structured formats, across their on-premises and AWS environments and data stores, and assure secure migration so they would be compliant with regulatory laws.

Use Cases:

Given the four critical technology challenges to successfully modernize and securely migrate and manage their big data lake environment on AWS, the customer was prompted to search for data privacy and protection vendors online. The customer project lead readily found, reviewed, and contacted PKWARE. Based on their early conversations with PKWARE, the customer quickly realized that the unique PKWARE data discovery solution would be of tremendous value in their project. PKWARE would save them countless hours of manually sifting through their structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data stores to identify and locate PHI/PI. The PKWARE fully automated obfuscation methods included masking functions and were exactly what the customer was seeking. Additionally, the solution met requirements for both HIPPA and privacy regulations, such as the GDPR for EU residents in the US and the CCPA for California residents. The PKWARE alerts, reporting and executive dashboard made it straightforward for the customer to automate adherence to their data management policies. After a rigorous and successful evaluation process, PKWARE was awarded the contract. The customer was also able to meet automation business requirements with the PKWARE install. With the out-of-box PKWARE automated scripts, the customer was able to spin up PKWARE while creating their EC2 instance and install PKWARE Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDPs) on the EMR clusters without ever having to look at the installers. The customer champion validated that PKWARE was the only company on the market that was able to meet their needs.


Automated Data Detection at Scale
PHI and PI can lurk in unknown files in data stores. Manual scanning often misses those. HIPPA and privacy regulations require health care companies to locate all personal raw data. PKWARE automatically locates and identifies every element of sensitive data.

Automated Data Protection at Scale
During migration and once landed in the cloud, private and sensitive data is fully protected by PKWARE. Different elements of sensitive data may need to be protected using a variety of methods. PKWARE offers flexibility for customers to define their own data management policies or adopt standard policies and then encrypts or masks each element of data accordingly.

Flexibility for Today and the Future
Regardless what new markets and security or privacy regulations the customer will need to adapt to in the future, PKWARE solutions are able to meet the challenges. The technology includes intelligence that is adaptive, and PKWARE teams go all out to earn the trust and confidence of the customers.