Commercial Hadoop vendors step up big data security pitch to would-be enterprise adopters.
protection, or they're in industries that are regulated like financial services, healthcare, and retail."
As InformationWeek's Doug Henschen noted last month, the open-source Hadoop platform already includes several security features, such as Kerberos authentication. But the new security push by commercial vendors such as Cloudera and Hortonworks appears to address one of the barriers to enterprise Hadoop adoption by offering an A-to-Z approach to big data security. Cloudera, for instance, touted the Gazzang addition as a win for would-be Hadoop users burdened by compliance concerns, thanks to its combination of at-rest data encryption and key management features for keeping encryption keys separate from encrypted data, a necessary step for regulations such as HIPAA and PCI.
Zedlewski said that, to date, many of the company's regulated customers have kept their regulated data out of Cloudera's systems because of compliance concerns. "That regulated data might not be a petabyte of data, but it's oftentimes the most valuable data, and it's the data you need to unlock a lot of the analyses or applications that they're building," he said. "It's really about growing the value of the deployment as a whole by trusting the system to hold the regulated data."
Information security's not just a regulatory compliance concern, not by a long shot, and that's another factor in growing interest not just in big data but in secure big data. Marketing departments, for instance, must consider the long-term fallout of a potential breach, even if they're not necessarily bound by government agencies or other rules.
"In this world of big data, people are ever more concerned about privacy and how all this data and people are being tracked and how that can be misused," Zedlewski said. "A lot of the non-regulated industries have created internal policies that are effectively like regulations, that have the same requirements for data protection. While there's tremendous potential in big data, it also represents a big opportunity for reputation risk."
You can use distributed databases without putting your company's crown jewels at risk. Here's how. Also in the Data Scatter issue of InformationWeek: A wild-card team member with a different skill set can help provide an outside perspective that might turn big data into business innovation. (Free registration required.)
Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio
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