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Security & Identity

Built with BigQuery: Material Security’s novel approach to protecting email

May 20, 2022
Dr. Ali Arsanjani

Director, Cloud Partner Engineering, Google

Abhishek Agrawal

Founder & CTO, Material Security

Editor’s note: The post is part of a series highlighting our awesome partners, and their solutions, that are Built with BigQuery.

Since the very first email was sent more than 50 years ago, the now-ubiquitous communication tool has evolved into more than just an electronic method of communication. Businesses have come to rely on it as a storage system for financial reports, legal documents, and personnel records. From daily operations to client and employee communications to the lifeblood of sales and marketing, email is still the gold standard for digital communications.

But there’s a dark side to email, too: It’s a common source of risk and a preferred target for cybercriminals. Many email security approaches try to make it safer by blocking malicious emails, but leave the data in those mailboxes unguarded in case of a breach.

Material Security takes a different approach. As an independent software vendor (ISV), we start with the assumption that a bad actor already has access to a mailbox, and tries to reduce the severity of the breach by providing additional protections for sensitive emails.

For example, Material’s Leak Prevention solution finds and redacts sensitive content in email archives but allows for it to be reinstated with a simple authentication step when needed. The company’s other products include:

  • ATO Prevention, which stops attackers from misusing password reset emails to hijack other services.
  • Phishing Herd Immunity, which automates security teams’ response to employee phishing reports.
  • Visibility and Control, which provides risk analytics, real-time search, and other tools for security analysis and management.

Material’s products can be used with any cloud email provider, and allow customers to retain control over their data with a single-tenant deployment model. 

Powering data-driven SaaS apps with Google BigQuery

Email is a large unstructured dataset, and protecting it at scale requires quickly processing vast amounts of data — the perfect job for Google Cloud’s BigQuery data warehouse. “BigQuery is incredibly fast and highly scalable, making it an ideal choice for a security application like Material,” says Ryan Noon, CEO and co-founder of Material. “It’s one of the main reasons we chose Google Cloud.” 

BigQuery provides a complete platform for large-scale data analysis inside Google Cloud, from simplified data ingestion, processing, and storage to powerful analytics, AI/ML, and data sharing capabilities. Together, these capabilities make BigQuery a powerful security analytics platform, enabled via Material’s unique deployment model.

Each customer gets their own Google Cloud project, which comes loaded with a BigQuery data warehouse full of normalized data across their entire email footprint. Security teams can query the warehouse directly to power internal investigations and build custom, real-time reporting — without the burden of building and maintaining large-scale infrastructure themselves. 

Material’s solutions are resonating with a diverse range of customers including leading organizations such as Mars, Compass, Lyft, DoorDash and Flexport. 

The Built with BigQuery advantage for ISVs 

Material’s story is about innovative thinking, skillful design, and strategic execution, but BigQuery is also a foundational part of the company’s success. Mimicking this formula is now easier for ISVs through Built with BigQuery, which was announced at the Google Data Cloud Summit in April.

Through Built with BigQuery, Google is helping tech companies like Material build innovative applications on Google’s data cloud with simplified access to technology, helpful and dedicated engineering support, and joint go-to-market programs. Participating companies can: 

  • Get started fast with a Google-funded, pre-configured sandbox. 
  • Accelerate product design and architecture through access to designated experts from the ISV Center of Excellence who can provide insight into key use cases, architectural patterns, and best practices. 
  • Amplify success with joint marketing programs to drive awareness, generate demand, and increase adoption.

BigQuery gives ISVs the advantage of a powerful, highly scalable data warehouse that’s integrated with Google Cloud’s open, secure, sustainable platform. And with a huge partner ecosystem and support for multicloud, open source tools and APIs, Google provides technology companies the portability and extensibility they need to avoid data lock-in. 

Click here to learn more about Built with BigQuery.


We thank the many Google team members who contributed to this ongoing security collaboration and review, including Tom Cannon Partner Engineering and Ashish Verma TPM.

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