Big Data and Cybersecurity

Posted by Alexis Vander Wilt
Alexis Vander Wilt

Big data can provide numerous insights to enterprises and help professionals to make informed decisions. When used in cybersecurity, big data can find trends and correlations, flag anomalies, and recognize the malicious activity. However, malicious hackers are also benefiting.  As AI and machine learning find their way into the world of malicious cyber attacks, cybercriminals are finding new and innovative ways to attack our systems. So, does big data hold the answer to combating cybercriminals?

Modern cyber woman with matrix eye concept

 

At first, big data seems like an excellent opportunity to recognize trends and possibly prevent cyber attacks, but the thing people tend to forget about big data is that it is big. The sheer amount of data that needs to be stored, processed, and analyzed is overwhelming, often leading to the inability to query the data quickly and easily discern false positives.

The first big challenge is data access. Data is spread and isolated in many different data platforms. One way to address this challenge is to create a data lake. Data lakes aggregate all the data to allow for search. However, they left much desired, as it is impossible to get all the data in one place and in a common language to enable search. Big data, thus, relies on tools that can query data regardless of location and language to overcome these challenges. 

The next big data challenge is analysis. When you have so much data available, it isn't easy to analyze all the data and receive actionable insights. In response, big data analytics are gaining popularity and showing real promise in the cybersecurity world. It allows professionals to analyze data in nearly real-time, which leads to a better understanding of one's environment and, thus, a better understanding of when something suspicious is happening. 

Big data security analysis faces yet another set of challenges: implementation and adoption. According to a Kuppingercole and BARC survey, only one in five companies is using big data security analytics. The same survey showed that 55% of companies believe that big data is important. There seems to be a gap in what companies believe and what they are putting into action. Implementation and adoption is one problem that is harder to overcome.

Big data can provide incredible real-time insights into information and help recognize cyber threats in near real-time. It can aggregate data from multiple sources, provide security alerts, and rank the importance of a threat for cybersecurity professionals. It is a huge opportunity for the cybersecurity field. However, there are challenges, it's hard to manage such vast amounts of data and adoption. With time, big data might become the best way to detect malicious activity. 

 

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Resources: 

https://bi-survey.com/big-data-security-analytics

https://onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/threat-or-opportunity-big-data-and-cyber-security/

 

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Alexis Vander Wilt

Written by Alexis Vander Wilt

I am a senior Computer Science and Mathematics student, with a passion for understanding Data Analysis and its impacts. I work as part of the team at Query.AI where we are using Natural Language Processing to allow users to “talk to your data” reducing the security learning curve and working to make security more accessible to all.