Insights from HP Big Data Conference 2015

The HP Big Data Conference, which took place August 10-13 in Boston, allowed attendees to gain real-world insight into how organizations apply and benefit from the latest in advanced Big Data analytics. Big data analytics is the process of examining massive quantities of data from multiple sources to uncover new patterns and useful information to gain insights that can be used to make better decisions. The reason my company, HP Security Voltage, acquired by HP in February of this year, was so keen to be at this conference was to show that HP is making a commitment to protect sensitive data in these Big Data projects—and to show how easily sensitive data can be secured in the HP Haven Big Data Platform, Hadoop distributions such as Hortonworks, MapR and Cloudera, as well as other platforms.

At the conference, there were over 40 insightful Big Data breakout sessions led by real-world customers, technologists, and engineers covering an extensive range of topics including developing next gen composite analytic apps, the latest in Hadoop high performance computing, Big Data cloud-based APIs, and what is around the corner in the Internet of Things (IoT) data streaming solutions. We also attended engaging keynote sessions (such as Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com and Ken Rudin of FaceBook) and theCube interviews with key customers, HP executives, and VIP guests.

And the conference is even more than the great breakout sessions. The Solutions Showcase, Developers Lounge, Hack Day, Training and Certification, and Women in Technology Breakfast–not to mention evening receptions–all gave more opportunities for customers to network with peers and experts in Big Data.

A staple of high profile industry and technology events has been TheCube. TheCube broadcasts excellent interviews, live from the event, and then has them available for immediate viewing on YouTube and Wikibon.  You can also see them on the HP BDC link. It was great to see Sudeep Venkatesh, vice president of solutions architecture at HP Security Voltage, in a live streaming interview with John Furrier and Dave Vellante. HP Security Voltage delivers data-centric security software solutions to protect data across enterprise, cloud, mobile devices, and yes, big data environments. Data security is one of the largest issues many industries face today—critically in Big Data environments and we help secure business intelligence and customers’ private information, and neutralize data breach.

When talking about security, Sudeep said, “You can build high walls to secure the data, but someone can always breach it. You need to go the source – the data.”  He also explained that encryption and tokenization at the data level enable you to move protected data throughout your network or Big Data project.

When asked by TheCube what security problems attendees at The HP Big Data Conference are talking about, he stated, “Many industries are seeing their Big Data projects stalling due to a lack of security.” Sudeep went on to explain that HP SecureData encrypts data and preserves the format. This allows companies to perform analytics directly on encrypted data in its protected form.  He explained how this means you can secure sensitive data at rest, in motion, and in use.

Dave Vellante also conducted an interview with a key HP Security Voltage customer, Keven Goode of Inmar, who delivered a great breakout session, titled “How We Hadoop”. Kevin Goode is the director of platform engineering at Inmar, a company that offers a commerce platform for connecting retailers, manufacturers, and service providers. When Kevin was asked what got him to the HP Big Data Conference for the first time, he answered that we asked him to present how his company uses HP SecureData in their Hadoop cluster to enable their data scientists to securely analyze consumer data.

Kevin explained how Inmar started as a coupon redemption company, acting as a trusted middle-man between retailers and manufacturers. They have evolved over the years to start handling retailer’s pharmacy claims, when pharmacies started to move into grocery stores, and were also asked to handle returned goods. Needless to say, Inmar has radically transformed with Hadoop, to become an advanced data-driven enterprise, offering numerous digital product offerings. HP Security Voltage enables Inmar to protect sensitive customer data, in particular the pharmacy customer’s protected health information (PHI), by de-identifying data in Hadoop using HP SecureData for Hadoop.

Whether you are planning a Big Data project, or exploring the power of Hadoop analytics, do not forget to think about security at the same time. A best practice for Big Data projects is data-centric security.

A data-centric security approach calls for de-identifying the data as close to its source as possible, replacing the sensitive data elements with usable, yet de-identified, equivalents that retain their format, behavior and meaning. This is also called “end-to-end data protection” and provides an enterprise-wide solution for data protection that extends beyond the Hadoop and Big Data environments.

Find out more about HP SecureData for Hadoop.

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