Making big data infrastructure secure

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Big data is driving invaluable new insights for organizations in all sectors. The sheer volume of data available demands new methods of analysis, drawing in many more collaborators. It also demands new, large-capacity storage.

The extent of the security configurations should always be tailored to each organization’s needs and requirements, as the trade-off between performance and security will differ in each scenario.

That combination presents risks, however: giving more users access to more data within a relatively new storage platform potentially makes that data vulnerable to hacking or leakage. Organizations should therefore take precautions to protect themselves.

In this article, we explore some of the considerations when securing big data storage, identifying the fundamental questions, such as, how do you prevent leakage of sensitive data? We introduce a framework to secure Hadoop (a mainstream big data platform) infrastructure that focuses on four important areas:

  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Auditing
  • Data encryption

Big data analytics presents both big opportunities and challenges for businesses. Securing a big data infrastructure introduces further challenges that are not applicable to traditional relational database technologies and, as such, a structured approach should be taken.

The article was written by:

  • Abhay Raman
    Partner, Cyber Risk Leader, EY, Canada
  • James Ki
    Senior Manager, Enterprise Architecture, EY, Canada
  • Shezan Chagani
    Manager, Cyber Risk Services, EY, Canada

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