Click here to close now.



Welcome!

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

After spending years at large corporations including Dell, AMD and BMC, David Tishgart joined the startup ranks leading product marketing for Gazzang. Focused on security for big data, he helps communicate the benefits and challenges that big data can present, offering practical solutions. When not ranting about encryption and key management, you can find David clamoring for a big data application that can fine tune his fantasy football team.

Latest Stories
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...