Click here to close now.


@BigDataExpo Authors: David Dodd, Ed Featherston, Chris Fleck, Anders Wallgren, Ken Simpson

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, Apache, Cloud Security

@BigDataExpo: Blog Feed Post

How to Secure Hadoop Without Touching It

Combining API Security and Hadoop

It sounds like a parlor trick, but one of the benefits of API centric de-facto standards  such as REST and JSON is they allow relatively seamless communication between software systems.

This makes it possible to combine technologies to instantly bring out new capabilities. In particular I want to talk about how an API Gateway can improve the security posture of a Hadoop installation without having to actually modify Hadoop itself. Sounds too good to be true? Read on.

Hadoop and RESTful APIs
Hadoop is mostly a behind the firewall affair, and APIs are generally used for exposing data or capabilities for other systems, users or mobile devices. In the case of Hadoop there are three main RESTful APIs to talk about. This list isn’t exhaustive but it covers the main APIs.

  1. WebHDFS – Offers complete control over files and directories in HDFS
  2. HBase REST API – Offers access to insert, create, delete, single/multiple cell values
  3. HCatalog REST API – Provides job control for Map/Reduce, Pig and Hive as well as to access and manipulate HCatalog DDL data

These APIs are very useful because anyone with an HTTP client can potentially manipulate data in Hadoop. This, of course, is like using a knife all-blade – it’s very easy to cut yourself. To take an example, WebHDFS allows RESTful calls for directory listings, creating new directories and files, as well as file deletion. Worse,  the default security model requires nothing more than inserting “root” into the HTTP call.

To its credit, most distributions of Hadoop also offer Kerberos SPNEGO authentication, but additional work is needed to support other types of authentication and authorization schemes, and not all REST calls that expose sensitive data (such as a list of files) are secured. Here are some of the other challenges:

  • Fragmented Enforcement – Some REST calls leak information and require no credentials
  • Developer Centric Interfaces – Full Java stack traces are passed back to callers, leaking system details
  • Resource Protection – The Namenode is a single point of failure and excessive WebHDFS activity may threaten the cluster
  • Consistent Security Policy – All APIs in Hadoop must be independently configured, managed and audited over time

This list is just a start, and to be fair, Hadoop is still evolving. We expect things to get better over time, but for Enterprises to unlock value from their “Big Data” projects now, they can’t afford to wait until security is perfect.

One model used in other domains is an API Gateway or proxy that sits between the Hadoop cluster and the client. Using this model, the cluster only trusts calls from the gateway and all potential API callers are forced to use the gateway. Further, the gateway capabilities are rich enough and expressive enough to perform the full depth and breadth of security for REST calls from authentication to message level security, tokenization, throttling, denial of service protection, attack protection and data translation. Even better, this provides a safe and effective way to expose Hadoop to mobile devices without worrying about performance, scalability and security.  Here is the conceptual picture:

Intel Expressway API Manager and Intel Distribution of Apache Hadoop

In the previous diagram we are showing the Intel(R) Expressway API Manager acting as a proxy for WebHDFS, HBase and HCatalog APIs exposed from Intel’s Hadoop distribution. API Manager exposes RESTful APIs and also provides an out of the box subscription to Mashery to help evangelize APIs among a community of developers.

All of the policy enforcement is done at the HTTP layer by the gateway and the security administrator is free to rewrite the API to be more user friendly to the caller and the gateway will take care of mapping and rewriting the REST call to the format supported by Hadoop. In short, this model lets you provide instant Enterprise security for a good chunk of Hadoop capabilities without having to add a plug-in, additional code or a special distribution of Hadoop. So… just what can you do without touching Hadoop? To take WebHDFS as an example the following is possible with some configuration on the gateway itself:

  1. A gateway can lock-down the standard WebHDFS REST API and allow access only for specific users based on an Enterprise identity that may be stored in LDAP, Active Directory, Oracle, Siteminder, IBM or Relational Databases.
  2. A gateway provides additional authentication methods such as X.509 certificates with CRL and OCSP checking, OAuth token handling, API keys support, WS-Security and SSL termination & acceleration for WebHDFS API calls. The gateway can expose secure versions of the WebDHFS API for external access
  3. A gateway can improve on the security model used by WebHDFS which carries identities in HTTP query parameters, which are more susceptible to credential leakage compared to a security model based on HTTP headers. The gateway can expose a variant of the WebHDFS API that expects credentials in the HTTP header and seamlessly maps this to the WebHDFS internal format
  4. The gateway workflow engine can maps a single function REST call into multiple WebHDFS calls. For example, the WebHDFS REST API requires two separate HTTP calls for file creation and file upload. The gateway can expose a single API for this that handles the sequential execution and error handling, exposing a single function to the user
  5. The gateway can strip and redact Java exception traces carried in the WebHDFS REST API responses ( for instance, JSON responses may carry* which can spill details beneficial to an attacker
  6. The gateway can throttle and rate shape WebHDFS REST requests which can protect the Hadoop cluster from resource consumption from excessive HDFS writes, open file handles and excessive  create, read, update and delete operations which might impact a running job.

This list is just the start, API manager can also perform selective encryption and data protection (such as PCI tokenization or PII format preserving encryption) on data as it is inserted or deleted from the Hadoop cluster, all by sitting in-between the caller and the cluster. So the parlor trick here is really moving the problem from trying to secure hadoop from the inside out to moving and centralizing security to the enforcement point. If you are looking for a way to expose “Big Data” outside the cluster, an the API Gateway model may be worth some investigation!



The post How to secure Hadoop without touching it – combining API Security and Hadoop appeared first on Security Gateways@Intel.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

@BigDataExpo Stories
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. ...