Big data analytics can be directed to several use cases, like marketing, talent management, sales forecasting, or in this case, cybersecurity. Let’s dig into hows and whats of it.
Cybersecurity has been a headache for enterprises almost since the beginning of the business internet, but in the last couple of years the pressure has ramped up a notch.
Hackers keep evolving to keep pace with security systems, so as the network of firewalls, malware scanners, and threat detection tools became more sophisticated, so did malicious actors bent on evading them.
The pandemic didn’t help matters either. Phishing attacks grew by an average of 70% in the past year, and the average cost of a data breach rose to $21,659 in 2021. Everyone wants to find better ways to secure their IT networks, but only around a quarter of enterprises feel confident that their security is good enough.
This is where big data analytics can step in. Big data was quickly and heartily embraced by sales and marketing departments, but now other departments like HR, finance, and, crucially, IT teams are adopting it.
What is big data analytics for cybersecurity?
Every organization generates tons of data daily, streaming in from everything from social listening to Google Analytics on your website to updates about your inventory levels or the progress of the packages you sent for delivery.
That’s big data, and the process of organizing it, crunching it, and mining it for meaningful insights is big data analytics. Today’s data is so enormous that it’s no longer possible to sift through it manually; big data analytics relies on automated tools that apply artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL) to handle huge datasets.
Advanced analytics increasingly run in the cloud using cloud data warehouses. There’s debate about which warehouses are best, like Snowflake vs Bigquery, but they all serve the purpose of storing data and ensuring it’s accessible to analytics tools.
Big data analytics can be directed to several use cases, like marketing, talent management, sales forecasting, or in our case, cybersecurity.
Big data analytics can monitor employee behavior
Unfortunately, your employees are likely your weakest link. One survey found that 52% of CISOs say employees are their biggest threat to operational security. It just takes one person to forget to change a default password or accidentally set access credentials the wrong way, and hackers will have an open door into your networks.
But big data analytics can sift through all the millions of actions that employees take daily, identify those that might put your system at risk, and notify you instantly so you can fix it before cyberthieves have a chance to act. Some advanced systems even allow you to automate responses to big data alerts, saving time and worry for CISOs.
Big data analytics can streamline risk management
There’s no such thing as an IT system that’s 100% protected. Every system has vulnerabilities, and new ones can appear all the time. That’s why it’s very important to risk assessments so that you’re aware of your weaknesses.
Big data analytics can map your ecosystem continuously and analyze the root cause of security breaches, helping you understand the vulnerabilities that enable security incidents so you can take more appropriate and targeted action.
Big data analytics can improve threat intelligence
Serious cybersecurity threats are appearing and evolving all the time. The more you know about them in advance, the better your chances of keeping them out of your system.
Today’s smart threat intelligence crunches big datasets to identify the signs of emerging risks and new threats, giving you an early warning about new attempts to breach your defenses. This way, you’ll be able to make sure you’re protecting your networks against genuine issues and point your defenses in the right direction.
Big data analytics delivers real-time breach detection
The sad truth is that with so many hackers out there and so much complicated information infrastructure, the chances are high that your enterprise will suffer a data breach at some point. What matters most, though, is what happens after the breach.
Some of the worst data breaches grew serious because it took a long time for the infiltration to be spotted, allowing hackers plenty of time to seed malware and steal sensitive data. Big data analytics can pick up on unusual patterns in network activity faster than any human agent and instantly send an alert to your security team.
With faster notifications, you’ll be able to mediate the intrusion sooner and prevent a minor issue from turning into a network-wide disaster.
With big data analytics, cybersecurity can be more robust
Although cybersecurity teams face serious threats that are constantly evolving and growing, big data analytics can help shift the balance of power. By using analytics to monitor employee activity, predict threats, close up vulnerabilities, and alert teams to incidents, organizations can beef up their protections and offer peace of mind to CISOs.