SSL

Protection for Big Data – Encryption through SSL Certificates

March 11, 2016 | By Editor 

Astronomically massive amounts of data are being generated, stored, manipulated, and analyzed. As nearly all data is being moved to the cloud, data is being collectively stored in cloud servers.

Data science, data warehousing, data mining, data analytics – these are the trending data related terms nowadays. Everything is considered as data. Data is driving the world. Banking, healthcare, climate data, astronomy data, personal data (security numbers and such), are among the many industries where big data plays a major role. Data is valuable. Especially data such as credit numbers, social security numbers, financial transactions, user interactions, social media interactions,… The list is endless.

In many cases the data has to be kept secure, valuable data as like in the case of social security numbers, personal information, credit numbers, or sensitive information that should not be accessible by those who are not intended to. Social Security numbers are used for indexing credit, employee and patient records. They could be used to apply for credit, get health care, take loans by committing identity theft and fraud. Credit card details could be used for making purchases. The possibilities of crime are endless.

The organizations that store and manage the data have to ensure that the data is secure and cannot be stolen or manipulated. However, cybercriminals somehow seem to find their way and access this data. So a method by which this data can be rendered useless if it falls into their hands has to be followed. This is possible using encryption. Encryption would ensure that only the person who is authorized to access data would be able to read the data using a decryption key. Over the years encryption has grown stronger and stronger from a small 56-bit key size to 256-bit key size encryption.

In eCommerce, banking and finance transaction data has to be shared between an organization and the user, or between two organizations. The integrity of this data has to be maintained and should not be manipulatable or stolen by anyone in between using man-in-the middle attacks. Data has to travel over the internet network and is quite vulnerable in many places. To ensure integrity and security, internet security protocols – Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) are employed.

SSL Certificates provide highly secure, encrypted communications between a website (eCommerce merchant) and an internet browser (client/user). There are different types of SSL certificates offering different levels of encryption. Certificate Authorities (CAs) are designated authorities for issuing SSL Certificates. Basically three types of SSL Certificates are issued – Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validated (OV) and Extended Validation. In domain validation, the control of the domain by the applicant is verified for issuance of the DV SSL Certificate. For OV certificates the CA checks the domain and the organization. The EV SSL certificates are issued after validation according to guidelines set by the CA/B Forum.

Hence, SSL certificates could play a major role in protecting Big Data.

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