100 best practices for keeping big data secure

The Cloud Security Alliance offers 10 tips for each of the top 10 security and privacy challenges

Big data is best known for its volume, variety, and velocity -- collectively referred to as the "3 Vs" -- and all three of those traits make security an elusive goal. Targeting companies grappling with that challenge, the Cloud Security Alliance on Friday released a new report offering 100 best practices.

As its name would suggest, the CSA focuses on promoting the use of security best practices within the cloud computing world; corporate members include VMware, Microsoft, AWS, and Red Hat. In an earlier report, the CSA broke down big data security risks into a set of the top 10 major challenges. Now, for each of those, it presents 10 best practices designed to help enterprises keep their information safe.

For companies working with distributed programming frameworks such as Apache Hadoop, for example, the CSA recommends using Kerberos authentication or an equivalent to help establish trust.

To ensure that the privacy of data subjects is not compromised, all personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, and Social Security numbers must be either masked or removed. It's also important to watch for the presence of "quasi-identifiers" that can almost identify a data subject, including ZIP code, date of birth, or gender, the report warns.

Companies that use nonrelational data stores such as NoSQL databases, meanwhile, are hampered by the fact that such products typically include few robust embedded security features, the report's authors say. For that reason, they suggest using strong encryption methods such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), RSA, or Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-256) for data at rest.

"The storage of code and encryption keys must be separate from the data storage or repository," they advise. "The encryption keys should be backed up in an offline, secured location."

Also included in the report are suggestions for real-time security and compliance monitoring, privacy-preserving analytics, data provenance, cryptographic techniques, and more. The handbook is now available as a free download.

There's been growing concern about the use of big data and the associated risks to privacy and security. Early this year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued a report with caveats and guidelines for businesses.

Market researcher Gartner, meanwhile, predicts that the improper use of big data analytics will cause half of all business to experience ethics violations by 2018.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?