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Cloud Security Alliance Sets Sights on Big Data Security

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Posted August 31, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

The Cloud Security Alliance thinks there’s no better time than now to tackle Big Data security.

Is Big Data ushering in an era of big security challenges? The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)  isn't taking any chances, so it has established its own Big Data Working Group.

The group "will work to address the security and privacy issues magnified today by the velocity, volume, and variety of Big Data, such as large-scale cloud infrastructures, diversity of data sources and formats, streaming nature of data acquisition and high volume inter-cloud migration," says the CSA.

The endeavor will be headed by Sreeranga Rajan, director of Software Systems Innovation at Fujitsu Laboratories of America, eBay Research head Neel Sundaresan and Verizon security guru Wilco Van Ginkel.

Big Data Security Best Practices

CSA's Big Data Working Group aims to develop and deliver best practices for Big Data security and privacy as well as ease coordination and collaboration between IT organizations. To start, it will tackle the following areas of research: Big Data-scale cryptography, cloud infrastructure, data analytics for security, framework and taxonomy, policy and governance, and finally, privacy.

As any tech industry watcher can attest, Big Data is emerging as a big deal in enterprise IT circles. Add the scale of the cloud, and the sky is the limit when it comes to Big Data market opportunities.

Companies like Oracle and SAP are making huge investments in Big Data hardware, software and services. Thanks to open source projects like Apache Hadoop, a steady stream of startups is pouring into the ecosystem.

Sensing an opportunity for secure Big Data software platforms, one startup is banking on its NSA roots to make a splash in this growing market. Last week, Sqrrl revealed that it had secured $2 million in initial funding to grow its Big Data tech, which based on Accumulo, an open source data storage and retrieval system with enhanced security features.

By all accounts, Sqrrl and the larger Big Data market have their work cut out for them when it comes to security, according to Rajan.

"Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created, resulting in a myriad number of data security and cloud-computing security concerns, " said Rajan in a statement.  "By collaborating as a global community of thought leaders and researchers, we are not only looking to help the industry overcome these challenges but also to leverage new opportunities for the monitoring and detection of security threats enabled by big data."

The CSA Big Data Working Group will publish its first research report this fall. The topic, according to CSA, is "new and fundamentally different technical and organizational problems when addressing Big Data security and privacy."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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