Speed and Security: Are they Incompatible for Big Data

Last updated: 29 March 2017

Big data represents green fields forSecure Big Data in Motion new industries, and areas for improved service and efficiency in other industries. At its core, big data are large databases and the connectivity between them. But no value comes from simply having large volumes of data or expanding connectivity. There is more required in order to extract value from big data. Analytics and speed are key components to making this happen effectively.

Cloud + Big Data = Green Fields ← If High Speed
Cloud computing brings vital flexibility and elasticity to the majority of big data implementations. And the majority of use cases require high speed networks. In a world of instant gratification, online entertainment providers analyze usage data to provide viewers with customized recommendations, improving the customer experience and increasing loyalty. But if the aggregation and processing of these recommendations are not in real time, viewers may tune out or tune in elsewhere.

In other words, if the info comes too slowly, it loses value, possibly even becoming worthless.

High Speed Networks Need High Speed Encryption
Big data architectures are growing increasingly distributed in nature which means high-bandwidth networks are playing an increasingly central role. Additionally, as big data use cases expand, more data sources are being aggregated, analyzed, and disseminated.

The very attributes that define big data also contribute to security vulnerabilities: volume, variety, and velocity. Expanding volume and velocity means that, within seconds of a single attack, massive amounts of data can be compromised. See a recent Gemalto blog, “Big data encryption: do it right from the start to reduce risk.”

Secure the Data with High Speed Encryption
In 2016, the Identity Theft Resource Center made the grim pronouncement, “Breaches have become the third certainty in life.” Perimeter security is no longer adequate to secure an organization’s IT assets – data is always on the move, and especially out of your own internal networks. Your organization must have strong, certified high speed encryption across the network and of course distributed big data environments. You must encrypt your data, and protect it in motion as it moves across the network, to the last mile, and up to the cloud and back again.

There’s not much point in locking valuables up in a huge vault, if they’re regularly transmitted in the open across unprotected networks. Encrypting your data in motion attaches security directly to the data itself. This way, even if hackers and steal the goods, data that remains encrypted is worthless.

Slow or Risky: Pick your Poison
Leaving your data in motion unprotected is clearly a risky proposition. Unfortunately certain network encryption technologies can have a negative impact on network performance, introducing a loss of bandwidth of up to 50% particularly on the lower end of the scale, or raising costs as you transmit more data across the pipes for big data use cases. In addition to business operations disruptions, this has significant financial considerations. If you’re not getting the bandwidth you’ve paid for, it’s like buying a bowl of soup, but only getting to eat what you can suck through a tiny straw.

The result is a ‘pick your poison’ scenario: slow or at risk? But it doesn’t need to be this way.

High Speed Encryption at Layer 2
Large-scale, high-capacity network environments have unique needs for performance and security. To most effectively protect data on the move, hardware-based data encryption at Layer 2 is needed. Compared to Layer 3 (IPSec) encryption or MACsec, Layer 2 networks can be secured and encrypted with dedicated appliances without any loss of speed and performance, minimal management, and greater reliability. This is of particular importance for big data for big data applications that cannot compromise on performance, or security for that matter.

Tidy Encryption Devices
There may indeed be a subset of tech pros who enjoy the beautiful organization that is tidy cabling. (Yes, there’s a cabling subreddit. There really are some beautiful images that will bring peace to those of us who profoundly appreciate organization.) But we all recognize the value of keeping our hardware minimized and streamlined. The protagonists of HBO’s fantastic series “Silicon Valley” may not have appreciated the idea of their technology being relegated to a box in a massive data center. However, data centers need cybersecurity, and hardware-based data encryption devices must be easily rack-mounted, ideally using minimal rack space.

High-Assurance Connectivity without Compromise
Thankfully as the use of big data grows, so too does the sophistication of encryption solutions. You don’t have to pick any poisons.

For data in motion, the most recent addition to our SafeNet High Speed Encryption portfolio, the SafeNet Ethernet Encryptor CN9100 (CN9100), protects communications at speeds of 100 Gbps encrypted bandwidth. Ensuring that available bandwidth is maximized, the SafeNet Ethernet Encryptor CN9100 features low latency of under 2 microseconds to ensure network performance is optimized as increasingly large amounts of data, and big data, cross the network securely in real-time at higher bandwidths.

Do you need to assess threats to your ethernet network? Check out this Guide to Protecting Data in Motion.

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