Security concerns of the Geospatial data community

Professionals working with geospatial data, spanning environmental and geographic information, can benefit significantly from using cloud-based high-quality, robust and cost-effective services but are concerned about data security, user control over data and data location. While not all data in geospatial contexts is personal, using the cloud may reveal information about people accessing, reading, downloading geospatial data, or using a service on environmental information.

Geo-publication and geo-processing in the cloud are probably the most common scenarios that have important confidentiality requirements. In these cases, it is very important to tackle security concerns in geospatial data sharing, especially in the event of a regional or national disaster.

Security tools are also needed to protect data used in commercial settings by private companies, analysts and even public institutions and data providers. Data about rare earth minerals, minerals and natural resources from geosurveys in all European countries is highly sensitive and used by all of the above. Again, concerns about security are preventing organisatons from using the cloud.

CLARUS no-compromise security for Geospatial data

Storage of geo-referenced data, geo-publication of groundwater borehole data, geo-processing of mineral concentration data, and geo-collaboration on gas supply network data are all examples of how CLARUS meets important security requirements.

CLARUS also meets the needs of European geo-survey organisations that manage confidential environmental data and have legal obligations to share data to a large audience.

CLARUS can adapt to a highy-standardised landscape, e.g. OGC standards, via its plug-in mechanism for protocol support.

CLARUS users can monitor, audit and retain control over their data while benefitting from cloud characteristics and cost savings.

CLARUS also supports multi-usage scenarios for outsourcing data to the cloud by applying different security techniques, such as hiding the precise location of objects and protecting geographical features by splitting data across different cloud service providers, and using innovative encryption techniques to protect the results of geo-statistical computations.

CLARUS can also be used in other scenarios in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS):

  • Storing geospatial data.
  • Searching and retrieving geospatial data.
  • Performing computations on geospatial data and updated geospatial data.

Interoperability and standards compliant

In the geospatial domain, standards are defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The OGC web services standards are extremely important for implementing the scenarios described above. The Web Map Services (WMS) for serving maps on the web from several geo-referenced data sources, the Web Feature Service (WFS) for exchanging geographical features across the web and the Web Processing Service (WPS) for invoking transformation services on the Internet.