Centrify expands identity management to protect big-data honeypots

Identity-management provider Centrify has extended its capabilities to the emerging Hadoop big-data analysis platform, offering a suite of management tools that allow control over Hadoop systems using existing Microsoft Active Directory (AD) infrastructure.

The platform is designed to address the growing need for robust access control, which has become apparent as broader adoption of big-data techniques concentrates large quantities of personally identifiable information (PII) inside the enterprise.

Figuring out how to secure that information is essential to keep on the good side of Australia's strict privacy laws, but many organisations are implementing big-data systems without complementary access-control infrastructure.

The risks of this approach – which has manifested in the increasingly popular 'data lake' concept by which data is dumped into a common repository without being processed or transformed into a standard format – are many and relate to both the assumption that users are skilled enough to manipulate the data, and that the data is protected well enough despite there being little understanding of its content or structure.

“Data can be placed into the data lake with no oversight of the contents,” a recent Gartner analysis warned. “Many data lakes are being used for data whose privacy and regulatory requirements are likely to represent risk exposure.”

“The security capabilities of central data lake technologies are still embryonic,” the analysis warns. “These issues will not be addressed if left to non-IT personnel.”

Centrify has worked to address this issue in its Centrify Server Suite 2015, which is focused on Apache Hadoop environments and allows AD to control users access to big-data repositories, manage their privileges, and meet auditing requirements as well as securing communication between the many machines in a big-data computing and analysis node.

This infrastructure allows organisations to ensure that their data isn't leaking out of the company, that changes to the big-data cluster are authorised, and that manipulation and queries of the data can be correctly tied back to the users that initiated them. The solution has been certified by Hadoop providers Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR.

The extension of Centrify's authentication credentials further complements the company's authentication suite, which links on-premise and cloud suites and has driven growth of the company by 40 percent year on year.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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Tags identifiable information (PII)CentrifyIdentity-managementCentrify Server Suite 2015central dataActive Directory (AD)CSO Australiadata lake'Hadoop big-data

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