Study confirms big data’s link to cybersecurity

With big data growing more central to business intelligence operations, its connection to cybersecurity is inherent, but the benefits flow both ways. A recent study conducted by MeriTalk and Northrop Grumman took a closer look at the relationship between these two IT sectors by speaking with experts from 18 different big data and cybersecurity specialists.

Symbiosis of data analysis and security
As companies collect and store more and more data, the need for cybersecurity only increases, especially with recent breaches at places like Target, Nordstrom and Indiana University. Businesses will need to implement protections to keep their business intelligence safe, but at the same time, this very data may be able to improve cybersecurity, according to experts interviewed for the study. By analyzing collected information, a company may be able to spot weaknesses and risks before problems arise to allow for preventative measures to be taken.

"Continuous monitoring and advanced analytics of data provide agencies with an unprecedented understanding of their networks and security posture," Jim Myers, vice president of the Cyber Solutions Division of Northrop Grumman, said in a release. "This paves the way for powerful predictive capabilities in the future that will empower agencies to focus on real threats and mitigate risk."

Action necessary to make improvements
The report points out that getting the most out of big data for security purposes will require the investment of time and money by companies to better filter and analyze information in a safe and economic way. It will also be crucial for enterprises to construct policies and infrastructure that will allow for better control of the variables being examined, especially in terms of safety. Experts recommended that companies will want to develop overarching strategies for how they will approach  analysis in a safe manner. Risk management will play a major role in this sector going forward, as analysts will be working with highly sensitive data that should be protected along every step of analysis. 

"We're only beginning to scratch the surface in terms of using analytics to provide cybersecurity and mission insight," Vern Boyle, director of technology and engineering for the Northrop Grumman Cyber Solutions Division, told FCW. "There is an opportunity to use predictive analytics to get out in front of threats and eliminate problems before they happen."

As businesses begin to explore this venue for big data analysis, they will likely need to invest in analysis tools that will improve productivity and help them get the most out of their efforts.

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