Case Studies

Granular Access Control For Big Data Sets


The Challenge

For our federal government customer, it was vital that the right people could access, use and share the data they needed at the speed of the mission. In that context, they were continuously challenged with sustaining precision retention and recall of mission-critical big data within their vast data repositories. Security was paramount, and granular access control was an essential and ongoing requirement. Open source data tools using traditional access methods like RBAC weren’t good enough to handle the combination of data volume and variety, the pace at which the customer needed to work, and tough data privacy, security and access control demands. Our customer needed a better solution.


Our Solution Features

Our team of specialist engineers at ATG worked to adapt Apache Accumulo, the tool best geared to robust, scalable data storage and retrieval. In particular, Accumulo’s column-oriented design enables optimal scan performance for the data stored in the big data platform. Our implementation allowed for user filtering founded on a cell-based security model and centered on the presentation of the appropriate authorization through the customer’s public key infrastructure. It ensured that only the data that individual users were authorized to access could be returned to them.


Benefits to the Customer Mission


We allowed our customer to implement granular access control at the cell in contrast to more traditional access methods. Key benefits included:

  • We facilitated the customer’s ability to ensure that their teams could aggregate various sources of big data with no compromise on security.
  • Our approach protected strict data privacy rules, a critical component of any effective solution.
  • We enabled greater flexibility in sharing data securely and efficiently, ensuring data access for authorized personnel at the speed of the mission.





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