Industrial IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz

Blog Feed Post

It’s Time To Get Serious About Big Data Security


Over the last few years, we have witnessed a substantial amount of buzz about Big Data, and we have seen the large-scale adoption of Big Data analytics solutions. Organizations are collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data in a way that most were unable to do ten years ago. Pattern recognition, non-obvious relationship detection, graph analysis, predictive processing, and other analytical approaches can enable our organizations to turn oceans of data into knowledge, allowing us to make the best use of the data that we have.

At the same time, there exists an ever-growing concern that revolves around the security and protection of the information that we are analyzing. As we watch the explosive growth of data that we are processing from multiple disparate data sources, our IT environments are growing increasingly more complex, and we are witnessing new challenges related to data management, security, and privacy. Many organizations are now required to enforce access control and privacy restrictions in order to meet data and privacy regulations, and these same organizations face steep penalties and fines for non-compliance. At the same time, data security breaches (both from the insider and outsider) are on the rise, and a study released this year by Symantec and the Ponemon institute found that the average organizational cost of one security breach in the United States is 5.4 million dollars. Civil court records show a growing list of organizations that have faced millions of dollars in lawsuits related to their exposure of information, and new studies are showing that most organizations are not prepared to respond to the fallout.

So what does that mean for organizations focusing on Big Data? With evolving cyber security threats, growing security and privacy concerns, the reality of insider attacks, and the legal and regulatory requirements that many organizations face, it means that we need to start getting serious about Big Data Security. It’s an issue – but one that many organizations haven’t thought about.

Although security and privacy issues related to Big Data are starting to get more attention in the mainstream media, the issues are not new – many of these concerns have been documented in academic papers in the Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery communities for decades. As distributed analytics technologies have become more prevalent and available in recent years, these concerns that were once raised in academia are now being realized in Big Data implementations.

Further complicating the matter is that many Big Data platforms, like Apache Hadoop, were not originally designed with security in mind. Many security professionals over the years have highlighted challenges related to Hadoop’s security model, and as a result there has been an explosive growth in security-focused tools that complement Hadoop offerings, with products like Cloudera SentryIBM InfoSphere Optim Data MaskingIntel’s secure Hadoop distributionDataStax EnterpriseDataGuise for HadoopProtegrity Big Data Protector for HadoopRevelytix LoomZettaset Secure Data Warehouse — and the list could go on. At the same time, Hadoop’s security model is slowly evolving to meet some of these security challenges because of some great work happening in the source community.

Regardless of your Big Data platform, however, there are some critical steps that organizations must do in order to understand and be prepared for Big Data security challenges.

  1. Identify and understand the sensitivity levels of your data. In order to understand the challenges, it is critical to understand the sensitivity levels of your data and the access control policies associated with your data. The sensitivity levels of your information will drive your security strategy. In some cases, it may be necessary to filter access to the data retrieved by data scientists and analysts running jobs and queries, based on what they are allowed to see. As data sets from different information sources are combined with others for processing – where each data set may have inherent access control policies – defining and enforcing the access control policies on the combined sets can become a tricky problem.
  2. Understand the impact of the release of your data. Even organizations that are careful to strip out sensitive information from data sets that they release to their business partners are finding that their data sets are vulnerable to attacks related to differential privacy, and many companies have learned this the hard way. A few years ago, for example, Netflix anonymized movie ratings of about 480,000 customers, and held a contest, offering 1 million dollars for the contestant who could improve their “Recommended for You” movie suggestions. A few researchers found that by combining anonymous ratings in the Netflix data set with public ratings in the IMDB data set, they could successfully de-anonymize the ratings of many viewers, exposing information about the sexual interests, political leanings, and religious views of many viewers. The publication of their findings led to a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Netflix, which Netflix later settled.
  3. Develop policies & procedures related to Big Data Security and Privacy. These will vary from organization to organization, based on the sensitivity levels and inherent release policies of your data, but should include policies and procedures related to data ingest and release, access control within the organization, data destruction and sanitation, monitoring procedures, and policies and procedures for incident response.   
  4. Develop and execute a technical security approach that complements the security of your analytics platforms.  Security controls on many Big Data platforms aren’t providing the amount of security that some of our organizations need.  Requirements for authorization at the data level, on-disk encryption, and integration with Identity and Access Management infrastructure, as well as  proactive monitoring of your data (just to name a few) often need to be solved by tools that complement your analytics platform. Many times, certain requirements may involve the integration of third party encryption solutions into your analytics platforms or the use of other tools built on top of them to satisfy other requirements (Apache Accumulo provides cell-based authorization over top of Hadoop, for example). Because of concerns related to security, some organizations segregate their analytics clusters on their internal networks, and provide perimeter access control to authorized users. While this certainly provides a certain level of protection, it doesn’t provide authorization at the data level mandated by some organizations. Because of the complexity of distributed analytics platforms, security configuration is often tricky and complex.  Developing security solutions for analytics platforms therefore requires much attention to detail, a certain degree of creativity, and requires that you develop a security approach that revolves around the security policies of your organization and data.

These steps towards “getting serious about Big Data Security” are extremely necessary in our interconnected digital world, where the cost of data breaches are rising, and the penalties of not protecting our information are steep –  they certainly affect our organization’s budget outlook, but more importantly, security breaches will affect our reputation.  As security and privacy concerns around Big Data continue to attract attention, look for much innovation to occur in this exciting technology space.

About the Author

Kevin T. Smith is the Director of Technology Solutions and Outreach for the Applied Mission Solutions division of Novetta Solutions, where he provides strategic technology leadership and develops innovative, data-focused and highly-secure solutions for customers. He is the author of numerous technology articles, including a recent article at InfoQ : Big Data Security – The Evolution of Hadoop’s Security Model. He has authored many technology books, including the upcoming book Professional Hadoop Solutions (Wrox Press) as well as Applied SOA: Service-Oriented Architecture and Design Strategies (Wiley), The Semantic Web: A Guide to the Future of XML, Web Services, and Knowledge Management (Wiley), and many others. He can be reached at [email protected].

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...