Zettaset's SHadoop Brings User Access Control to Big Data

Organizations that are concerned with employees who can access data within their Hadoop clusters can now look at SHadoop from Zettaset to create baseline policies.

Zettaset unveiled SHadoop, a new security initiative that would help organizations manage and control employee access to data in Hadoop environments.

SHadoop would integrate security functions that would allow administrators to implement role-based access control within the company's Hadoop Orchestrator platform, Zettaset said Feb. 22. With the new tools, administrators can create policies that specify what users can or cannot do with data on a Hadoop platform.

The policies are defined using the user's group and role. Users can be restricted from executing certain jobs if they aren't classified in a specific category. Users can also be prevented from importing or exporting certain types of data, Zettaset said. With SHadoop, administrators can track, log and audit all user and group activity.

€œHadoop is the best solution for handling big data and is constantly improving, but it hasn€™t focused on security,€ said Brian Christian, Zettaset's CTO.

Organizations use the Apache Hadoop Distributed File System to store and manage petabytes and petabytes of data from disparate data sources. Hadoop is far more efficient at aggregating and organizing structured and unstructured data than traditional relational database management systems. Many organizations rely on Hadoop to aggregate and analyze data collected from Websites, social media, emails, audio and video, and data gathered from sensors. Big data is used for a broad range of purposes, including fraud detection and security analysis.

Social networking giant Facebook is among the many companies that use Hadoop.

At the moment, Hadoop does not have many built-in controls beyond access control lists and Kerberos-based authentication. The SHadoop layer would "mitigate known architectural and input validation issues" and improve user role audit tracking and user-level security, Zettaset said.

Future versions of SHadoop will include a way for organizations to encrypt the data stored in a Hadoop cluster or as they are being transmitted between Hadoop nodes, according to Zettaset.

Zettaset's tools are designed to make it easier and more affordable for small and midsized businesses to use big data, the company said. Even though open-source versions of Hadoop are freely available, many organizations shy away from using them because the task of managing the clusters is still challenging.

In fact, a recent study sponsored by LogLogic found that many IT professionals are still very confused about what big data is, and how to work with it. About 38 percent of survey respondents said they do not have a clear understanding of what big data is, and nearly half of those respondents were somewhat or very concerned about managing big data.

More than half the survey participants, about 59 percent, said they lacked the tools required to effectively manage data from their IT systems, LogLogic said.

€œInformation is power, and big data if managed properly can provide a ton of insight to help deal with security, operational and compliance issues,€ said Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer of LogLogic.