What Is the Semantic Web and Is It Risky?

The Semantic Web is essentially an extension of the traditional web that gives companies and developers a common framework to ease the sharing of data, enabling it to be used across multiple applications and warehouses.

Semantic web is often used to represent any information that’s processed, used and shared by machines. Think of it as a framework that allows languages, libraries and other frameworks to describe complex and sometimes fluid things such as people, meeting notes and events, social science topics or even the steps in a chemical reaction. Semantic web presents us with a complex web of information and relationships. It can be an amazing tool in the hands of researchers and enterprises, thanks to data and connections. It’s becoming more important in the realm of data mining, forecasting, predictions and more.

Pushing your boundaries into the strongest versions of data analytics will require a dive into the semantic web, but your security platform must protect an increasing amount of touchpoints and potential vulnerabilities.

4 Ways Comprehensive Security Solutions Can Help

A comprehensive security solution like ours is the best way to implement your protections and facilitate the adoption of the latest tech, and here’s why.

  1. Vagueness

One chief challenge in the semantic web is that some characteristics are unclear or imprecise. What you consider a tall person could be different from my definition if we only provide the option “tall,” and no further specifications around height limits.

Vagueness can cause your system to work too hard or improperly sort data into your data warehouse. If vagueness is a known weakness, outside parties could use a characteristic to force your system to inject or execute malicious code.

Comprehensive security solutions often institute data governance paradigms that look for vagueness and treat it as a potential threat. Systems can implement fuzzy logic to help ensure proper sorting, and they can also look beyond the sorting characteristics for potential threats and known worms that are lurking in the background. A complex system scans to prevent single-system pass throughs, and can also expose vulnerabilities that exist when your semantic web system pulls overlapping data in order to understand the content.

  1. XML Security Gaps

XML documents contain graphs, and systems will often struggle to use semantic web practices to determine how much access of that XML document to give an outside user or program. It will need to know if you’re able to access the data, manipulate it and dig through all pages or if you should be restricted to only viewing the graph output.

Security suites provide protection by linking privileges to different layers. They look at privileges — including read, write, append, distribute and browse — and scan the access request from each source. A strong suite will apply permissions based on each element, much like Optimal IdM’s delegated administration model, instead of defaulting to the highest setting for everything.

Someone with administrator status — but who cannot distribute the content — will be prevented from sharing it by a security suite. Your traditional single-look security platform would fail this task and allow them to document the XML document as they please because of their administrator status.

XML security is currently being considered by the W3C, with a focus on signature syntax processing and in-file access management. A top feature of a professional security suite is that it can update access paradigms based on W3C recommendations, so you can stay protected in the shifting landscape.

  1. Integrating New Databases

Analytics improve with the greater amount of validated data added to the system. When it’s relevant, your new data inclusions will refine models, help predictions and often provide a stronger breakdown of your customer cycles and values.

All of that new data needs be to secured and quarantined when first accessed. It can do significant damage even if you’re attempting to limit its system access with a default protection scheme.

Security suites answer the protection problem by accessing the data without giving it any ability to see or interact with your existing systems. Your current rules, exception lists, paradigms and controls can be applied immediately, even as the system begins to scan and sort your data.

With a security suite, you don’t need to start the data integration or cleaning process before scans and vulnerability sweeps are initiated. Dynamic integration can also be supported, allowing you to slowly include more information and start baseline development as your database is expanded.

  1. Dynamic Reputation Management

Knowledge management and analysis of new data sets and additional information is needed — and should be applied immediately. Otherwise, security of semantic web systems will be incomplete or lag behind other systems.

Security platforms and suites can mitigate some of this risk by understanding and building their database of trusted users or partners.

Security Will Be a Challenge

When you adopt a security suite like The OptimalCloud, our single sign on and cloud federated identity platform, you are taking the next step in ensuring security for the semantic web, which can often be a challenge.

You will face fewer risks with a smarter partner, but security should remain a chief focus. As your systems expand, IT develops new tools or you add new partners, semantic technologies and connections will diversify. Vulnerabilities change and new threats emerge, and you’ll need a strong partnership to maintain protection and keep operations running smoothly.


  • The database in which all of your organization’s sensitive identity data is stored.
  • A digital ledger in which digital transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  • Securely managing customer identity and profile data, and controlling customer access to applications and services.
  • The means of linking a person's electronic identity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems.
  • A legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU.
  • The policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.
  • An authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.
  • A security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • A global provider of innovative and affordable identity access management solutions. 
  • Managing and auditing account and data access by privileged users.
  • Tools and technologies for controlling user access to critical information within an organization.
  • An authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.