Big Data & Cyber Defense


The Implications of Big Data for Cyber Defense

Information and communications technology (ICT) has become a cornerstone of our modern society, and functioning without such technology is now virtually impossible. Such an all-encompassing industry entails interdependency; one interruption can ultimately have an enormous impact. Unfortunately, cyberattacks have become an increasingly severe problem and experts predict the regularity and intensity of such attacks to only increase in future years. A cyberattack is the deliberate attempt to disrupt, damage, and/or steal an ICT system.

For this reason, preventing, managing, and removing threats and vulnerabilities to information technology systems- known as cybersecurity- is now considered a vital element to the maintenance of any infrastructure that impacts national safety, the economy, or welfare and wellbeing of citizens. Though cybersecurity technology continues to develop with more sophistication and proficiency, so do the skills of those responsible for cyberattacks.

Conventional cybersecurity today faces a plethora of challenges.Defensive Cyber Operations

  • Strategies intended for defense result instead in too many false positive alerts
  • Standard tools are incapable of processing the large volumes of data gathered, leading to missed alerts
  • Threats hide undetected in plain sight
  • The system becomes reactive instead of proactive

A new strategy, referred to as “Big Data”, now provides a formidable resolution to manage the sheer volume and complexity of cyberattack prevention and elimination. Big Data incorporates drastically larger data volume, data streaming at unmatched speeds, and an enormous variety of data categories. This extraordinary growth in available information isn’t valuable, however, without the ability and power to decipher, analyze, and understand the underlying messages.

Big data analytics, then, is the process exposing hidden patterns, connections, and other valuable information by inspecting the big data.  The analytic power needs to be high-speed and automated in order to extract the maximum value from the system. The following three steps outline the best course of action to successfully integrate big data analytics for security use.

  1. Conduct a Risk Assessment

Complete an assessment of your organization’s data and network assets to establish cyber risk. It’s vital to understand the systems in your organization that need the most protection.

  1. Prioritize Actions

Based on the results of the security risk assessment, your organization’s strong and weak defenses need to be organized to create a plan of action. Though big data is impressively powerful, its focus is established using security priorities.

  1. Enhance Existing Security Solutions

Big data doesn’t mean that everything your organization has established needs to be thrown away. Instead, introducing big data analytics can strengthen the efficiency of an existing framework.

Overall, evolving security tactics to include big data can revolutionize cyberattack prevention and resolution.

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