Big data analysis can result in stronger cybersecurity programs
Big data analysis can result in stronger cybersecurity programs

Big data has inarguably been one of the most disruptive IT trends in recent years, with enterprises in a variety of industries eager to leverage database experts to help mine this information for a competitive advantage. However, the benefits of mining these larges caches of information can extend beyond targeted marketing campaigns and sales initiatives. Cybersecurity experts say that by analyzing big data, companies have the opportunity to gain deeper insight into many threats, thereby predicting any potential attack.

EWeek reported that at a recent seminar of government cyber-security experts, consultant and former director of US-CERT Mischel Kwon explained that firms cannot afford to wait for an anti-virus warning or firewall alert. Instead, companies need to take a proactive approach to block an incident before it occurs. J. R. Reagan of Deloitte & Touche explained that while big data could offer this capability, the huge amounts of information can be daunting to handle for analysis. Gaining value from big data depends on real-time, highly accurate and contextual analytics. Fortunately, Reagan noted that data visualizations allow IT security pros to detect patterns that previously were not visible or comprehensible.

"We can see pictures about sixty thousand times faster than we can read text," Reagan explained, according to eWeek. "Now we can see the point of attack."

While handling big data can be a challenge for many organizations, eWeek reported that as more data accumulates, it will become easier to apply that information to the necessary visualizations for identifying threats more quickly.

"We've been looking at the wrong things," Kwon said, according to the news provider. "We must embrace our data. We have to look at how we take that data, how we use it to make our compliance team into a functional team."

Personalizing security
ZDNet reported that Hugh Thompson, RSA Conference US program chair, believes big data projects could also allow enterprises to take more customized, risk-based approach to security programs. While speaking at a recent RSA Conference, he explained that while ecommerce, insurance and other industries have been able to personalize products and services based on big data insights, many enterprises still take a one-size-fits-all approach to security. He stressed that firms need to deploy the necessary tools for mining big data and adapt security efforts based on their unique vulnerabilities.

While big data analysis and visualization of the attack environment is in its early stages, companies that make these efforts a priority have the chance to better protect all critical assets.

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