The Role Big Data Plays in Cybersecurity


With all the commotion surrounding the fact companies need to protect their data, have we lost sight of the way in which big data can help improve that very process?

Shifting the spotlight
It's easy to lose track of the fact that big data can be incredibly valuable to IT departments. Analytics on competitors' and the business' own data breaches can lead to intuitive insights about what kind of cyberattacks are popular at the moment, where exactly the criminals are targeting systems and what solution can be used to defend against them.

The federal government, a high-value target for many cybercriminals, recently revealed in a report by MeriTalk that while over 4 in every 5 respondents are using big data to proactively fight cyberattacks, just 45 percent think their methods are effective. This means the industry is, more or less, at a crossroad—the information is there, but how do you use it to bring about tangible benefits?

To this, the three V's may provide an answer, according to Computerworld:

  1. Volume: Do you have enough data for a large sample size that allows you to make a decision without hesitation? Confidence drives performance, and bottle-necking your data collection capabilities will mean IT doesn't have ample evidence to understand where threats are emerging from.
  2. Variety: What types of data are you pulling? Both structured and unstructured data are required to build a comprehensive data model. Variability is key in defending against threats of all kinds.
  3. Velocity: An average-size network with roughly 20,000 devices will transfer more than 50 terabytes of information in just one day, Computerworld reported. This means data scientists need to have the tools and ability to scan 5 gigabytes every second. The same can be said for the analysis side of the table—to properly assess threats, you need to keep up with their speed.

unnamed (10).jpgBig data can be used to help identify security threats.

Putting it all together
Once you have a firm grasp on what your organization will need to watch for, it's then time to invest in cybersecurity solutions that support your mission. reported cloud security information and event management platforms are growing in popularity because they give companies the ability to track data transmission on the network in real time through imprints on files. Many companies identify this as a top method of actively defending against cyberattacks.

With this in mind, investing in IBM's Security QRadar makes a lot of sense as the first solution to incorporate into your organization's new data-driven cybersecurity plan. The platform allows IT departments real-time visibility into what's going on across the network. This can get as granular as the user-level with its simple but effective control panel, or as large as to view the entire business in an effort to prevent a backend hack.

The speed in which data is collected, analyzed and must be used is frighteningly fast, making a real-time cybersecurity solution like QRadar infinitely valuable. Companies looking to stay ahead of cyberattacks moving forward must incorporate a solution that allows them to do the same.

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