Chapter 14. Security

Making data accessible has been one of the key tenets of the Big Data movement, enabling huge strides in data analytics and bringing tangible benefits to business, academia, and the general public. At the same time, this data accessibility is held in tension with growing security and privacy demands. Internet-scale systems are exposed to an ever-changing collection of attacks, most of which target the data they hold. We’re all aware of high-profile breaches resulting in significant losses of data, including personal data, payment information, military intelligence, and corporate trade secrets. And these are just the breaches that have made the news.

One result of this heightened threat environment has been increased regulatory and compliance regimens in many regions and industries:

  • The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in 2018, specifies data protections and privacy for all EU citizens, including limitations on transfer of personal data outside the EU. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), effective January 2020, is a similar provision reflecting trends toward data privacy in the United States.

  • The US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 prescribes controls for the protection and handling of individual health information.

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), first released in 2006, is an industry-defined set of standards for the secure handling of ...

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