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Cloudera Strengthens Hadoop Security with Acquisition of Gazzang: Builds on additional community efforts to deliver end-to-end security offering


One thing I really love about being in the technology field is watching things get done that just a short while ago seemed impossible. I felt that way again when reading the press release below.  In the early days of production systems built around Apache Hadoop, security was only possible by limiting access to your cluster. Later, more and more security related capabilities were added, including better access control, authentication, auditing, and data provenance. Many players delivered niche solutions for encrypting data, but not so long ago most solutions I saw introduced new weaknesses for each solution.  Then some very positive things started happening.  One is Intel corporation started a deep focus on enhanced security, including creating an open source community activity that leveraged smart design that could leverage Intel Data Protection Technology with AES-NI (Project Rhino) in 2013. Cloudera continued to focus on security and find-grain access control with capabilities like Sentry.  Another very positive development was the application of engineering and security talent by an amazing firm named Gazzang. One of the big advances from Gazzang: well engineered key management.

The news below is the product of many of these factors plus the vision and leadership of very smart people at Gazzang, Intel and Cloudera. The result– something that was absolutely impossible just a few years ago, is now achievable. Security still takes forethought, but the fact that well engineered end to end encryption is now possible is a dramatically positive step.


Cloudera Strengthens Hadoop Security with Acquisition of Gazzang


Combines Apache Sentry and Intel’s Project Rhino with Gazzang’s Encryption and Key Management to Build the Industry’s Most Robust End-to-End Security Offering for Hadoop Environments

PALO ALTO, Calif. – June 3, 2014 – Cloudera, a leader in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop™, today announced that it has acquired Gazzang, the big data security experts, to dramatically strengthen its security offerings, building on the roadmap laid out last year when Cloudera first delivered Sentry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The addition will immediately deliver enterprise-grade data encryption and key management, addressing head on the challenges associated with securing and processing sensitive and legally protected data within the Hadoop ecosystem. Thus fulfilling a requirement in myriad compliance regulations like HIPAA-HITECH, PCI-DSS, FERPA and the EU Data Protection Directive.

While Cloudera customers will continue to have a choice of a broad range of cross-platform data protection methods available from Cloudera partners, Cloudera now offers encryption for all data-at-rest stored inside the Hadoop cluster – using an approach that is transparent to applications using the data, thereby minimizing the costs associated with enabling encryption.

Cloudera plans to focus the efforts of the Gazzang team on additional security challenges in Hadoop. The team will become the heart of the Cloudera Center for Security Excellence focusing exclusively on Hadoop security. The Center will focus on:

    • Comprehensive data and cluster security technologies - including “follow the data” authorization and encryption policies riding on Cloudera’s data lineage tracking capabilities.
    • Security testing and certification - including continuous vulnerability assessment, performance optimization, and developing regulatory compliance playbooks.
    • Security ecosystem partner enablement - developing security integration APIs and certifying partner products.

In addition to immediately providing a transparent data-at-rest encryption and key management solution to enterprise customers – addressing one of the biggest gaps in Hadoop security – Cloudera, Intel and Gazzang form a powerful team of big data security and silicon performance optimization expertise that will improve security in core Hadoop through the open source community.

Cloudera is continuing to invest broadly in the open source community to support and accelerate security features into project Rhino—an open source effort founded by Intel in early 2013. Project Rhino is a broad based open source security architecture addressing many of the major pillars of enterprise security including: perimeter security, entitlements and access control and data protection.

“Data security is no longer a checkbox for IT organizations or operations departments, it has become a top business priority,” said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer, Cloudera. “At the same time compliance requirements for protecting data continue to expand in scope where data access comes under scrutiny. We’re entering a whole new era with the rise of the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things where there is vastly more data being streamed from billions of devices. Centralizing and accessing that net-new data to unlock its value is therefore a challenge when you consider the security requirements. That’s what we’re solving now.”

Simplifying the process of injecting core security features such as encryption and key management into highly scalable environments will enable customers to move beyond test and development workloads to real-world implementations much more quickly and easily. For example, companies that are weighing the value of putting workloads in public cloud environments against security concerns will now be able to move forward by putting in place additional process-based access controls. This limits access to encrypted data only to authorized system functions – rather than specific users or roles – so a cloud administrator, who likely does not need access to the sensitive encrypted data, cannot run commands that grant them access. This is critical for compliance initiatives that require organizations to restrict data access based on “business need to know.”

“Enterprises are adopting big data solutions, despite what some mainstream press has stated, but only when they can address data security and compliance requirements. That Cloudera can now address the enterprise’s most critical security requirement — data encryption — directly into the platform is a big win for security-sensitive customers,” said Adrian Lane of the analyst firm Securosis. “What’s more, Gazzang’s transparent form of encryption scales right along with NoSQL clusters, so Cloudera customers get data security at big data scale. This is an astute acquisition by Cloudera.”

Today a rapidly growing number of large enterprises are building enterprise data hubs built on Hadoop to address a wide variety of data challenges and increasingly to work with data in more ways, not only for processing and archiving, but now for self-service BI and advanced analytics. The success of Hadoop has also drawn the attention of big, established players in the market, including most leading enterprise software companies. Many with decades of experience serving large and demanding customers now are building out software and systems that incorporate Hadoop.

Cloudera has driven enterprise capabilities and more power into the Hadoop platform than any other company as evidenced by the incorporation of real- time query with its open source Cloudera Impala; real-time search support with Lucene and Solr; security with Cloudera’s Apache Sentry project; integrated governance, compliance, reporting and disaster recovery—all on to the Hadoop platform.

Cloudera plans to incorporate Gazzang’s technology into its Cloudera Enterprise offering. Existing customers will benefit immediately as the new products become part of the company’s existing offering. Cloudera will provide support for the Gazzang customer base.


About Gazzang

Gazzang provides data security solutions and expertise to help enterprises protect sensitive information and maintain performance in big data and cloud environments. Our technology enables SaaS vendors, health care organizations, financial institutions, public sector agencies and more to meet regulatory compliance initiatives, secure personally identifiable information and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas and backed by Austin Ventures and Silver Creek Ventures.

About Cloudera

Cloudera is revolutionizing enterprise data management by offering the first unified Platform for Big Data, an enterprise data hub built on Apache Hadoop™. Cloudera offers enterprises one place to store, process and analyze all their data, empowering them to extend the value of existing investments while enabling fundamental new ways to derive value from their data. Only Cloudera offers everything needed on a journey to an enterprise data hub, including software for business critical data challenges such as storage, access, management, analysis, security and search. As the leading educator of Hadoop professionals, Cloudera has trained over 22,000 individuals worldwide. Over 1,000 partners and a seasoned professional services team help deliver greater time to value. Finally, only Cloudera provides proactive and predictive support to run an enterprise data hub with confidence. Leading organizations in every industry plus top public sector organizations globally run Cloudera in

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Cloudera, Cloudera’s Platform for Big Data, Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub Edition, Cloudera Enterprise Flex Edition, Cloudera Enterprise Basic Edition and CDH are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cloudera Inc. in the United States, and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company and product names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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