• We live in an era of increased cyber threats. With dozens of companies and organisations being hacked on a daily basis and cyber-crime rising to new levels with hacking during the US elections, it is time for organizations to start protecting themselves. Big Data Security Analytics can help companies understand what is happening within their company and can help them take action when it is needed most. But what is Big Data Security Analytics and how can it help protect your company?

    Unfortunately, protecting your organizations from (would be) hackers is difficult. In fact, according to ESG research, 62% of organizations believe that security management has become more challenging over the past two years. There are several reasons why security management has become more difficult including more complex IT systems that are required and limited talent that is available to develop the security measures. Also, the threat landscape has become a lot worse with more sophisticated and successful hacks carried out in the past years.

    One of the reasons for this finding is that organizations have not yet adopted the new Big Data Security Analytics, but are still relying on processes and technologies from yesterday. Very few organizations correctly protect their business, let alone store their sensitive documents or passwords correctly, as was the case with the Sony hack in 2014.

    According to the same ESG research, organizations face quite a lot of challenges when it comes to incident detection and security analytics. Almost 40% of the companies surveyed said that there is a lack of adequate staff in security operations and incident response. In addition, 35% said that there were too many false positives, due to the lack of intelligent analytics resulting in too much noise. Finally, almost 30% said that monitoring depends on too many manual processes and uses tools that are not integrated with each other, resulting in an incomplete overall picture.

    It is time that organizations face the facts and start protecting themselves from these threats, as there are quite a few risks for organizations that get hacked. Apart from data and property that gets stolen, it causes major reputational damage that could significantly harm your company when your customers decide that they don’t want to deal with a company that loses their private information.

    The Rise of the Chief Data Security Officer

    Organizations should, therefore, introduce the Chief Data Security Officer that is responsible for Big Data Security Analytics. The CDSO should be an important role within the board and they should look at combatting persistent threats and mitigating exposure of the company’s IT systems to large cyber attacks. They should focus on reducing the possibility of fraud on business processes, preventing hacktivism on their networks as well as identifying insider threats.

    The Chief Data Security Officer should create an environment that is capable of dealing with large quantities of data. Big Data Security Analytics involves Terabytes of data including log information from monitoring your network, database information, identify information and all kinds of other system data that needs to be analysed in real-time to know what is going on. Within a true Big Data Security Analytics environment, an organization should be able to combine security intelligence with business transactional data as well as unstructured company data such as emails to obtain a complete picture of what is going on. This will allow you to find all kinds of unique patterns and anomalies that actually might be, for example, a very slow moving attack that in the end could do a lot of harm.

    A New Approach to Security

    The introduction of the Chief Data Security Officer is just the beginning. The world of digital security is changing rapidly and organizations should, therefore, evolve as well. Cyber criminals are constantly changing their tactics, finding new ways to attack companies, so if a company refuses to stay up-to-date, they are almost asking to be hacked. This new reality requires a new approach to security.

    Protecting your company should, therefore, be focused on prevention, detection, and response. On the one hand, you should make it as difficult as possible for criminals to hack your systems. Encrypt your documents, and especially your passwords, and use firewalls to protect your systems from outside intruders. On the other hand, focus on monitoring and detection to know what is going on within your network and company. Combine many different, real-time, automatic tools to discover patterns and anomalies that could expose an intruder, identify offenses as well as security incidents that require your attention. Remove any manual activities and make use of automated intelligent processes that analyse deep internal and external security intelligence. Once a security threat is detected, you should focus on response in order to minimize the possible damage.

    Big Data Security Analytics is a difficult field, which involves large amounts of data sets, huge volumes of data, smart algorithms and extensive encryptions. The brightest minds and/or smart software tools should be used and it should be on top of the agenda for every company. For many organizations it will be an expensive investment they have to make, but not doing it could turn out to be a lot more expensive.

    This post originally appeared on Datafloq.

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