DarkCyber read “Moving Towards the Next Gen Financial Crimes Platform.” The essay, which is two parts information and three parts marketing collateral, presents a diagram of the Cloudera anti financial crime platform. The phrase “financial crime platform” could be interpreted as the airfield for dispatching a range of malware attacks, a position in which some cloud vendors find themselves either wittingly or unwittingly. In this DarkCyber article, I will refer to the Cloudera vision as an anti financial crimes platform, hopefully to make clear that the cloud vendor is not a bad actor.

In DarkCyber’s view, there are three main points about Cloudera’s enterprise focused solution. Silos of information are a problem, and Cloudera will sweep across organizational data silos, at least that’s the idea. Here are points DarkCyber noted:

  1. The focus is on the enterprise, not on a wider scope; for example, a bank, not a number of FBI field offices, each of which operates more or less autonomously
  2. Smart software (artificial intelligence, machine learning, et al) are used at the edge to provide necessary signals about activity warranting further analysis by more numerical recipes
  3. The solution can accommodate innovations either from Cloudera or from partners.

Cloudera includes a diagram of what the solution’s broad outlines are. Here’s the illustration from the Cloudera article:

Working from right to left, data are ingested by Cloudera. The content goes into an enterprise data store. A suite of financial crime “applications” operate on the data in the Enterprise Data Store and its modules. At the right hand of the diagram analytical tools (maybe like Tibco SpotFire?), business intelligence systems, and Cloudera’s Data Science Workbench allow authorized users to interact with the system.

Cloudera’s article includes this statement:

With CDP as the foundation, intelligence gaps are mitigated by a holistic enterprise view of all customer and financial crime-related data (holistic KYC), systems, models and processes.  You will also be able to tighten the loop between detecting and responding to new fraud patterns. CDP also supports open-source advances to ensure that your teams are able to experiment with and adopt the latest technologies and methods, which helps to mitigate technology and vendor lock-in.  The diagram below illustrates the Cloudera Data Platform and its various components for enterprise management. [Emphasis in the original source]

Several observations are warranted:

  1. Vendor lock is an organic consequence of putting one’s egg in one cloud-centric basket. Although it is possible to envision a system which accepts enhancements, the write and the diagram do not include a provision for this type of extension. DarkCyber posits that restrictions will apply.
  2. The diagram has “financial crime applications” without providing much “color” or detail about these policeware components. One key question is, “Will these policeware applications run “on Cloudera” or on some other system; for example, IBM cloud which delivers Analyst Notebook functions?”
  3. The write up does not provide information about restrictions on data; for example, streaming data from telephone intercept systems.
  4. Information about functional components, application programming interfaces, and programmatic methods for the platform are not provided. DarkCyber understands the need for economy in writing, but a table or a list of suggested links would be helpful.

Why is Cloudera making this play?

DarkCyber hypothesizes that Cloudera realizes Amazon’s “as is” capabilities pose a substantial threat. Cloudera wants to stake out some territory before the Bezos bulldozer rolls through the policeware market.

Stephen E Arnold, October 9, 2019

This content was originally published here.