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The 3 Must-Haves for Securing Your Big Data in the Cloud

By on April 6, 2016

There’s a lot of talk in the market about how SaaS Big Data analytics solutions are “the next big thing”. Bernard Marr’s article in Forbes offers a detailed explanation of what it is and how leading companies are already taking advantage of it. The praise these SaaS solutions are getting center around how they have the potential to:

  • alleviate the need for specialized Hadoop expertise
  • eliminate hardware + additional FTE staffing costs
  • provide the fastest onramp to big data analytics
  • are economically compelling vs. on-prem solutions

Despite the overarching “don’t worry about what’s under the hood” benefit, some potential adopters are still taking pause, thinking about data security, which inherently is an “under the hood” question. In fact, according to the 2015 Future of Cloud Computing Survey by North Bridge, the top three inhibitors to cloud adoption were all security related:

  • security (45.2%)
  • regulatory/compliance (36%)
  • privacy (28.7%).

This concern is compounded with all the market excitement around big data analytics, realizing that it often uses data that is valuable and possibly sensitive, like information about customers, operations, suppliers, transactions and more. Part of the reason this data is so valuable is because of the insights it can provide.

So, what’s the path forward when you don’t have these skills on staff, but you still want to move forward with a SaaS big data analytics solution? There is only one way to answer cloud security concerns – implement a cloud architecture with all the security and privacy companies require that can also help meet regulatory compliance where it is needed. Start by asking the following questions.

SaaS Big Data Analytics Security Evaluation Criteria

When you talk to SaaS big data analytics suppliers, start by asking what security features they offer – if any at all. Some suppliers will say “you have to do this on your own.” That should be a non-starter. If they do offer security features, look for the following, specifically:

  • Ensure the environment is lock-down secure. The solution should be deployed as a single-tenant, closed virtual network architecture that surrounds the software architecture with firewalled security. No other companies should share the computing and network resources, so it meets the privacy demands of organizations.
  • Only allow secure connections with “encryption on the wire”. The solution should use only HTTPS and SFTP connections and encrypt all network transmissions of data into and out of the cloud service. It should also allow the option to restrict access to specific IP addresses (white list).
  • Securing data inside the solution. Doing this takes three items:
    • The system restricts access to the storage devices only to the SaaS application and automatically monitors for unauthorized access to the storage.
    • The solution allows you to encryption data at rest in the system to ensure no one but the application itself can read and understand it.
    • The solution allows you to mask data so sensitive fields such as patient names, credit card numbers, or others cannot be seen, even by employees. This helps meet regulatory requirements.

Additional Resources

If you’re interested in learning how Datameer Cloud stacks up to these criteria, be sure to check out the following:

  • Learn about the security features in Datameer Cloud in this whitepaper.
  • Sign up for our live webinar on big data analytics in the Cloud with Ventana Research.
  • Learn more about Datameer Cloud in this datasheet.

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John Morrell

John Morrell

John Morrell is Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Datameer.

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