Big Data Encryption: Today’s Challenge

Big data technologies collect vast amounts of data from heterogeneous sources to gain greater insight into patterns and trends not generally discernible when analyzing smaller data sets. The technology provides visibility of valuable associations and characteristics that would otherwise go unnoticed, resulting in unprecedented new knowledge and understanding of wide sets of scientific and business scenarios. Big data applications have become a powerful decision-support tool that help enterprises gain a decisive competitive edge; the challenge becomes how to harness the power of accessing and analyzing vast amounts of often sensitive data, while mitigating the risks of exposure and compromise.

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More data often means more risks, especially when you are managing sensitive information and private records. Reliable data encryption can be used to protect sensitive information no matter where it resides, while centrally safeguarding and managing large numbers of keys helps ensure you can meet the demands of large scale big data applications in a trusted manner. As big data applications increasingly shape organizational decision-making, protecting both the source data and the business intelligence they generate is critically important. Information security for big data applications is therefore now a subject of increased attention.

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Risks Associated with Big Data

  • Source data used for mining and knowledge discovery typically includes private and sensitive information
  • The process of gathering data from multiple sources increases exposure
  • Co-location services that leverage processing resources can be vulnerable to attacks
  • At-rest analytics and business intelligence represent valuable target for attackers
  • Existing data security solutions use fragmented cryptographic key management approaches 

Big Data Encryption: Thales e-Security Solutions

Products and services from Thales e-Security can help you deploy big data solutions with confidence. Thales products and services facilitate the adoption of big data solutions by providing a foundation that builds trust for your digital assets. Cryptography and key management are tried and true data protection technologies. Given the higher level of risk involved when handling exponentially growing volumes of sensitive data, it is important to protect it from compromise. Thales and its technology partners offer integrated solutions that enable your enterprise to take full advantage of the benefits offered by big data analytics, while significantly reducing risks of compromise of sensitive data. Encryption and key management are important components of a well-designed big data deployment. Thales enterprise trust management solutions include FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified hardware security modules (HSMs), centralized key management, and standalone network encryption products.  Deployed with Thales technology partner big data applications, these products also facilitate auditing and help you meet data security compliance regulations:

  • Deployed remotely from the big data applications, the keyAuthority centralized key manager appliance scales to protect millions of keys away from the sensitive data being encrypted, using an industry-standard protocol (OASIS KMIP) to communicate with the applications.
  • nShield HSMs can safeguard and manage cryptographic keys and also offload cryptographic processing to deliver low latency, hardware-accelerated encryption.
  • Installed at the edge of protected networks, Datacryptor high speed standalone encryptors secure data in transit between data centers.


  • Make the most of big data analytics with confidence that the data you collect and mine is protected
  • Take advantage of cryptographic key management best practices to mitigate data exposure risks
  • Facilitate your auditing and compliance with government and industry regulations such as PCI-DSS
  • Apply consistent key management best practices across big data while integrating with existing enterprise data security applications
  • Prepare for the future with a scalable security approach and industry-standard interoperable key management solutions