|By Application Security||
|March 2, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
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.
- WebHDFS – Offers complete control over files and directories in HDFS
- HBase REST API – Offers access to insert, create, delete, single/multiple cell values
- 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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- The gateway can strip and redact Java exception traces carried in the WebHDFS REST API responses ( for instance, JSON responses may carry org.apache.hadoop.security.AccessControlException.* which can spill details beneficial to an attacker
- 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.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 321
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 27, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 379
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 27, 2015 05:45 PM EDT
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 27, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 377
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 323
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.
Aug. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 283
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 121
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 27, 2015 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 511
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 26, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 157
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 3, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 776
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 538
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 468
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,556
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 268
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 Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,215
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,306
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,437