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Cloudera Buys Data Security Firm Gazzang

Commercial Hadoop vendors step up big data security pitch to would-be enterprise adopters.

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Score one for Cloudera. On Tuesday the company said it had completed a deal to buy data security company Gazzang. Cloudera wasn't bashful about its announcement, declaring itself "the most secure" Hadoop platform as a result of the move. Deal terms weren't disclosed.

Security isn't a new interest for Cloudera, but VP of products Charles Zedlewski said that in the past the company had punted a critical area to its partner ecosystem: encryption of data at rest.

"We realized that this was basically adding months to deployment processes, and our whole mission is to accelerate people's ability to take advantage of big data," Zedlewksi said in a phone interview. "It was incumbent on us to take ownership of this aspect of data security."

[Yes, you need software to orchestrate application life cycles. Here's why: 4 Reasons You Must Automate Your Cloud.]

Zedlewski noted that "traditional" data management firms such as Oracle or IBM don't ask their customers to shop elsewhere for their data security. "It's not out of the ordinary in terms of what you'd expect from your data management platform," he said.

According to Zedlewski, the buy-versus-build decision was fairly straightforward. Gazzang was already a Cloudera partner as the two firms had mutual customers, so integration questions were easier to answer; likewise, Cloudera wanted a track record, especially of passing audits in regulated industries.

Cloudera's acquisition follows Hortonworks' purchase of the startup XA Secure last month. The trend was probably preordained. Information security has never been a hotter topic or a more pressing concern for corporations -- not even the CEO is safe after a serious breach. As big data gets, well, bigger -- and it will, thanks to the Internet of Things and other factors -- so does the potential attack surface and resulting data losses. Data security means more than protecting credit card numbers.

"It's no surprise to find that a large number of our customers want to work with sensitive data," Zedlewski said. "In fact, a high fraction of our customer base comes from industries that have all kinds of internal rules around data

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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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User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2014 | 11:50:15 AM
Big Data Needs Security Too
Good move for Cloudera to make a solid investment in security with the purchase of Gazzang.  Like any cloud service, the ability for customers to be able to trust that their provider has the right security controls in place, especially with functions like Big Data which has the potential to contain tons of personal information, it makes sense that Cloudera would opt to purchase a partner with a strong value proposition rather than try to build and manage in-house.  Great news.
User Rank: Author
6/4/2014 | 12:07:54 PM
More coming
Data security could not be more top of mind for CIOs right now.  Expect more acquisitions around big data security IP -- and talent -- in the months ahead.
User Rank: Apprentice
6/6/2014 | 10:47:17 AM
Strategic investment for sure
With the focus on information security and the need to cater to regulated industries (banking, healthcare etc) this capability was required for hadoop to transition from an R&D platform to a strategic data management platform.
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