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Privacy and Security issues with Big Data and Cloud

Several organizations deal with a large amount of data on a daily basis. Such organizations constantly look for solutions to optimize the storing of such huge data. Along with storing another concern is to analyze a huge volume of data. This together with the scalability of infrastructure and a budget-friendly solution is something that organizations look for.

For a lot of these big data storing and processing, cloud computing looks to be the future. Cloud computing provides a solution for most of the big data issues. Let us briefly check what is cloud computing and the benefits of cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing allows rapid sharing of IT resources required as part of an organization's infrastructure. A cloud service provider caters to software and hardware requirements. This is usually over the Internet and requires fewer management efforts. This is commonly categorized as:

  1. IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  2. PaaS – Platform as a Service
  3. SaaS – Software as a Service

Benefits of Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing offers several business benefits with its advanced architecture and flexibility. Few of these are:

  1. Cost Effective: This in most cases is cost-effective since the organization does not have to invest in the infrastructure or buy them separately. In cloud computing, an organization uses the existing infrastructure provided by the cloud service provider. This helps in reducing the cost since:

    • You do not need to invest separately on infrastructure
    • No separate system admin is required
    • Low energy consumption
    • Faster delivery with less delay
  2. Scalable: With cloud services, scalability is never an issue. You can easily add or remove "virtual" hardware components. The cloud service provider handles scalability issues.

  3. Business Continuity: Cloud-based solutions offer business continuity. With this, you can quickly get back your systems with very less downtime.

  4. Multiple Locations: Cloud computing is useful when an organization is distributed geographically. This provides easy and quick access to all regions across the globe.

  5. Flexibility: Cloud computing allows restricted access from anywhere and hence gives you the flexibility of getting connected to your data from anywhere.

  6. >Updates: Since the infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider, the security patches and updates are applied automatically. Organizations do not have to worry about regular updates.
  7. Compliance: Since the data is available with the cloud provider, the onus of being compliant exists with the cloud service provider.

While there are several benefits of using cloud computing, there are also few privacy and security issues which needs to be addressed while using the cloud.

Privacy and Security Issues in Cloud:

Big Data along with cloud-based storage has enabled several businesses to reach and spread over the market. The volume handled over here is humongous and also has several security issues which need to be looked into.

  • Protection of data and logs: Protecting transactional logs and data is one of the greatest concerns. A lot of processing is being done over the cloud. To store all of this data as well as logs in a secure cloud-based storage is required. Big data users do not think about data storage or location. However, this is one aspect which is very crucial.

  • Security of Endpoint devices: Endpoint devices form an important part of big data transfers. It acts as a medium to communicate with cloud services. Hence one should check the authenticity of endpoint devices.

  • Inbuilt Framework security: A lot of Big data computations are done over pre-built framework such as MapReduce function of Hadoop. These frameworks make big data more effective and usable. At the same time, organizations should evaluate the security of such frameworks as well as build systems which can remain robust in an event of a security breach.

  • Security of Real-time data: While we have spoken about data security for big data storage in the cloud, another equally important piece is the security of real-time data. Organizations should have the infrastructure to monitor real-time data. Constant security checks and observation of real-time data is required.

  • Authorization and Authentication: A secured data storage device should be used. At the same time, the device should have appropriate access control and encryption techniques to maintain security. Very often these storage devices are vulnerable to a security breach.

  • Data Origin: The origin of the data should be traceable. This helps to classify the data and validate its authenticity. A lot of times the data origin is completely left unmonitored, which can be a huge risk.

  • Auditing: Along with logging, organizations should also build a mechanism to constantly read these logs. This can prevent cyber-attacks as well as malicious users. A regular and constant auditing is essential.

  • Protection for NoSQL: NoSQL has several security threats. Some of these are still unknown. While using any specific NoSQL, it is important for organizations to do a complete research and if possible employ dedicated experts to evaluate various security strategies.

Conclusion

Big data and cloud-based services form a major chunk of computation. This has enabled and facilitated progress in various fields. At the same time, organizations planning to use this technology should be completely aware of the possible vulnerabilities, security threats, privacy breach and hence employ preventive security measures.

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