Gartner Research

Protecting Big Data in Hadoop

Published: 16 April 2015

ID: G00271209

Analyst(s): Joerg Fritsch


For structured data in Hadoop, security architects regained the controls they have been used to in RDBMS. For unstructured data, clients must resort to basic platform security. Here are the controls and maturity levels for security and risk management professionals to secure big data in Hadoop.

Table Of Contents


  • Controls Applied When the Data Is Captured
    • Tokenization and Format-Preserving Encryption
    • Persistent Data Masking and Redaction
  • Controls Applied When the Data Is Preserved
    • Data-at-Rest Encryption
    • File-Level Permissions and Authorization
  • Controls Applied Where Data Is Analyzed
    • Role-Based Access Controls and Attribute-Based Access Controls
    • Field-Level Security and Label Security
    • Access Lists
  • Audit Monitoring and Assessment
    • Database Audit and Protection for Hadoop
    • Multidistribution Components and Distribution-Specific Logging, Audit and Governance Components
  • Infrastructure Security
    • Server Security
    • Security Zoning
    • Data-in-Transit Encryption
    • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Base Hadoop Security on a Solid IAM Concept
  • For Structured Data, Use RBAC, Roles and the Data Policy You Are Used to; for Unstructured Data, Use Coarse-Grained Platform Security
  • Use One of the Many Data-at-Rest Encryption Options
  • Limit the Entry Points Into Your Hadoop Cluster to Defined Edge Nodes

The Details

  • The Open-Source Hadoop Security Wheel
  • Vendor Details
    • Hadoop Distributions With Multidistribution and Distribution-Specific Security Components
    • DAP Vendors With Support for Hadoop and Hadoop Security Add-ons

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.