Zoomdata’s Open Security Framework: Security Techniques for Data Visualization

Jan 11, 2017 by Matthew D. Sarrel in Industry

The Zoomdata security framework provides developers with an easy way to integrate powerful security mechanisms into applications that use Zoomdata visualization. Zoomdata supports multiple authentication methods (such as Kerberos, LDAP, SAML, and more) and links user identity to all operations and queries so there’s never any ambiguity over which user is accessing which data.

This is particularly important in organizations that work with very sensitive data and analytics methodologies in highly regulated industries. Identification and authorization are critically important when building access controls and conducting audits. Zoomdata can help protect not just the intellectual property of the underlying data but also of the analytics themselves.

More than a few big data implementations are in heavily regulated industries such as finance and healthcare. In these environments it is critical to control access to data and have full audit capability. For example, HIPAA compliance requires those working with healthcare related data to limit access to only what an employee needs. This creates a dilemma for BI and visualization tools as they must balance power and freedom to perform ad-hoc analysis with security, access control, and audit capabilities.

Most BI tools don’t react well when there are multiple security layers in front of the data source, as is the case with many big data architectures. For example, Hadoop lacked effective security for so long that many organizations developed their own proprietary security layers to protect the data they have residing in Hadoop. There’s no de-facto installation for big data security so companies require a flexible and open security framework when working with big data.

Zoomdata’s security infrastructure allows developers to incorporate existing data authentication models into their visualization applications. Organizations can assert data authorization within Zoomdata applications themselves including access rights at the table, attribute and row level. Zoomdata authorization mechanisms allow for entitlements and identity to be passed to Zoomdata for the appropriate control of data access.. This open security framework accommodates a wide variety of custom solutions that have been built.

Zoomdata passes identity through its entire Java micro-services architecture. All data access and associated visualization requires identity and all queries flow through smart connectors to the underlying data source where additional management to obtain a list of filters and privileges, and inject these filters into queries before they’re pushed to a data source is enabled. The Zoomdata connector infrastructure includes a connectivity SDK which allows IT organizations to write their own custom connector to tap into existing security infrastructure.

Moreover, Zoomdata can securely tap into many more data sources than the average BI tool regardless of the security capabilities of that source. This enables a secure self-service data exploration and analysis environment. Many other tools require moving the data from a secure environment into an insecure staging environment in order to analyze it. This almost always requires IT intervention to shuffle data back and forth between production and analysis environments. As a consequence, analysts are prevented from working with the most current data, plus IT has to manage and secure multiple copies of the same data. Securely provisioning, managing, and revoking access to data in other BI tools is a time consuming task that is obviated by Zoomdata’s connector architecture that allows users to securely visualize current and live data directly from the source.

Most big data environments are complex infrastructures where the choice of each component is rife with tradeoffs. Zoomdata’s flexible and open security model helps remove a number of tradeoffs. Zoomdata can leverage a pre-built and secured big data infrastructure or be adapted to fit into a new infrastructure. There’s no reason to subvert security mechanisms in order to launch a powerful data visualization for your users.


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Zoomdata’s Open Security Framework: Security Techniques for Data Visualization

BI and visualization tools must balance power and freedom to perform ad-hoc analysis with security, access control, and audit capabilities.


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