Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Apache, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Why Security Matters for Big Data and Health Care

Data integrity requires good data security

Data is quickly becoming one of those certainties in life, like death and taxes. It'll always be there, and like the Once-ler's Thneed factory from The Lorax (sorry, I have kids), data figures to keep on biggering, and biggering, and biggering and biggering.

More data means more knowledge, greater insights, smarter ideas and expanded opportunities for organizations to harness and learn from their data. Banks, retailers and even government are embracing big data, but while IDC estimated the big data market at $2.2 billion in 2011, only 6% of that investment came from health care.

On the flip side, a 2011 report from McKinsey Global Institute suggests if health care in the U.S. used big data to drive efficiency and quality, the potential could be more than $300 billion in value every year.

So big data investment by health care is small and growing, but the potential is significant. To realize that potential requires data to be secured and protected at all times, assuring information accuracy and integrity. A major concern with big data systems is their inherent lack of security. A typical NoSQL data store lacks a number of key security features that are available in traditional databases or provided by a third-party security vendors. This is going to be a big issue and potential barrier to entry for big data moving forward.

Consider this case of an urban health care facility just outside of Washington D.C., where the emergency room was experiencing an alarmingly high rate of returning patients.  To determine the root cause of the situation, researchers sifted through data collected from more than 300,000 ER visits. By correlating seemingly unrelated information, they were able to surmise that the length of stay of a patient was a key factor in determining whether they would make a return trip to the ER. Now doctors can determine the likelihood that a patient will need to be readmitted to the ER and tailor their follow-ups accordingly.

Just imagine if this data had been skewed either by a rogue insider with access to the data or by a malicious actor outside the hospital. Researchers would have come back with an entirely different view of the problem and perhaps a less effective solution.

This underscores the importance of securing big data through a layered approach that employs firewalls, authentication, patch and configuration management, antivirus and event monitoring tools.

Ultimately, the safest thing a health care provider can do to maintain data integrity, limit access to sensitive material and enable HIPAA-HITECH compliance is to encrypt all data at rest. By encrypting data, storing the keys in a separate, secure environment and enforcing tight controls governing who (or what) can access the encryption keys, organizations can create a hardened barrier around their sensitive data.

In the event of a device theft - currently the most common type of data breach in health care due to the high number of mobile devices storing unprotected health records - encryption ensures data cannot be read by unauthorized parties, while access controls restrict data from third-party vendors like cloud or SaaS providers.

To secure regulated HIPAA data stored in popular big data stores such as Hadoop, it's important to use a Linux encryption tool that offers the aforementioned features and does not impact the performance of the rapid-fire MapReduce queries that make big data technology so valuable in the first place.

The bottom line is, there needs to be some middle ground where patients feel their protected health information is secure, while hospitals and research organizations have the access and ability to conduct big data analyses that improve the quality of the care they're providing.

After all, as my friend the Once-ler once might have said, good health care is what everyone, everyone, EVERYONE needs.

More Stories By David Tishgart

David Tishgart is a Director of Product Marketing at Cloudera, focused on the company's cloud products, strategy, and partnerships. Prior to joining Cloudera, he ran business development and marketing at Gazzang, an enterprise security software company that was eventually acquired by Cloudera. He brings nearly two decades of experience in enterprise software, hardware, and services marketing to Cloudera. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

CloudEXPO Stories
The precious oil is extracted from the seeds of prickly pear cactus plant. After taking out the seeds from the fruits, they are adequately dried and then cold pressed to obtain the oil. Indeed, the prickly seed oil is quite expensive. Well, that is understandable when you consider the fact that the seeds are really tiny and each seed contain only about 5% of oil in it at most, plus the seeds are usually handpicked from the fruits. This means it will take tons of these seeds to produce just one bottle of the oil for commercial purpose. But from its medical properties to its culinary importance, skin lightening, moisturizing, and protection abilities, down to its extraordinary hair care properties, prickly seed oil has got lots of excellent rewards for anyone who pays the price.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected path for IoT innovators to scale globally, and the smartest path to cross-device synergy in an instrumented, connected world.
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of the world’s largest data centers. Click here to schedule a meeting with our experts and executives.
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understanding as the environment changes.