Big data can help combat cyber threats

by Sharon Lobo    Jun 05, 2013

Big Data

Today, many organizations operate IT security models that rely heavily on traditional perimeter-based defenses, making it nearly impossible for them to anticipate or spot unknown threats. However, leveraging big data approaches to security can help make the much-needed intelligence-driven security model a reality for organizations in the face of growing and sophisticated cyber-attacks.

An intelligence-driven security model leveraging big data analytics for pervasive monitoring, threat information sharing and intelligent controls can allow for more rapid detection of attacks and shortening an attacker’s dwell time within a breached enterprise. As big data is the ability to extract meaning to sort through the masses of data elements and find the hidden patterns, the unexpected correlation or the surprising connection.

It is about analyzing vast and complex data sets at high speed that, in our case, will allow us to spot the faint signal of an attack. Because at some point, no matter how clever the attacker, they must do something anomalous.
-Art Coviello, Executive Chairman, RSA

The current impediments to the adoption of an intelligence-driven security model is the lack of understanding and knowledge and unbalanced security budgets that most organizations exhibit.  However, action to implement intelligence-driven security must be taken on the part of company boards of directors and C-level executives, practitioners, governments and vendors to help organizations be effective against the sophisticated cyber threat landscape. However, this trend could take-off sooner than expected, as Gartner points out that big data will grow past its hype towards 2016 to become “just data” once the technologies mature, and organizations learn how to deal with it.

Additionally, it is also imperative for governments to unite and facilitate information sharing by playing the role of a central repository to exchange pertinent security information about current threats and attacks as well as to set the tone for cooperation internationally.