Big Data and Security for Space

Big Data systems are complex and heterogeneous. The integration of different technologies and the high volume and variety of Big Data introduces new security issues that traditional security mechanisms are unable to address. The European Space Agency (ESA) is reflecting upon the challenges related to the security of Big Data at the 3rd International Security Symposium taking place at ESA/ESRIN in Frascati, Rome, on 13-14 February 2017.
Johan Dietrich Woerner, ESA’s Director General

Johan Dietrich Woerner, ESA’s Director General, opened the symposium on Monday, February 13. Mr. Woerner introduced the challenges related to the security of Big Data for the space industry – access, analysis, capture, data management and integration, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualisation, querying, updating.

The security threats

The opening session outlined the security threats of Big Data and their impact in different national and international institutions. Security experts from ENISA, European Data Protection Technology and Security, Europol, and the Spanish National Security office explained how the security of Big Data affects their own activities.

Ernesto Damiani, author of ENISA report on Big Data Threats, presented the results of ENISA’s Threat Landscape 2016. According to the report, Big Data is being targeted by cyber-attacks and it is expected to become a very powerful tool for security professionals, as it contributes significantly to building intelligence about threats and incident management.

Jose de Blas, Head of the Spanish National Security Office, focused on the security risks associated with the use of cloud and Big Data, and the challenges that they pose to the management of classified information. Mr. De Blas pointed out how the use of large scale cloud infrastructures, with a diversity of software platforms spread across large networks, is threatening the security of classified information.

Barbara Angelucci

Tackling the security challenges of Big Data

The afternoon session addressed the challenges related to security of Big Data access, analysis, sharing, storage, transfer, and visualization. Barbara Angelucci and Gioacchino Buscemi, from ESA’s Earth Observation directorate, presented how the agency is securing the large amounts of data and knowledge provided by its Earth Observation programmes, such as Copernicus.

Ms. Angelucci stressed the need to have security governance that helps to manage the technology, the security tools and the processes related to Big Data. “There are two main challenges we need to address: security of the Big Data and preparing a common Big Data methodology,” said Angelucci.

The first day of the symposium ended with a session addressing information ownership and classification, and discussed the different options for an effective and secure data management.

There are two main challenges we need to address: security of the Big Data and preparing a common Big Data methodology
Barbara Angelucci
RHEA Group's Security Consultant

Revisit the first day of the symposium

The first day sessions recordings are available here.

The symposium will continue today. You can follow the event live here


As there is method behind successful enterprises, there is a method to keep your company secured. Our security solution provide full coverage throughout the implementation lifecycle, leaving your organization free to operate and optimize its resources.