Big Data Works in Fighting Breaches

Thursday, September 8, 2016 @ 04:09 PM gHale


Ninety percent of Big Data users have seen a decline in security breaches, while 49 percent of federal agencies said cybersecurity compromises occur at least once a month as a result of an inability to fully analyze data, a new report found.

Data reveals the top challenges for the Feds were the sheer volume of cybersecurity data, which is overwhelming (49 percent); the absence of appropriate systems to gather necessary cybersecurity information (33 percent); and the inability to provide timely information to cybersecurity managers (30 percent), according to MeriTalk’s new report, “Navigating the Cybersecurity Equation,” which examines how agencies are using Big Data and advanced analytics to better understand cybersecurity trends and mitigate threats.

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Because of these challenges, over 40 percent of respondents’ data goes unanalyzed. Other obstacles include the lack of skilled personnel (40 percent), potential privacy concerns (27 percent), and lack of management support/awareness (26 percent).

For the survey, MeriTalk polled 150 Federal cybersecurity professionals regarding their agencies’ use of Big Data and advanced analytics to better understand cybersecurity trends and mitigate threats. While 81 percent of federal agencies reported they are using Big Data analytics for cybersecurity in some capacity, 45 percent reported their efforts to be “highly effective.”

Federal agencies are using Big Data for a variety of purposes, including detection of vulnerabilities in the IT environment (55 percent), detection of a breach currently occurring (54 percent); and correlating and analyzing data from multiple sources (51 percent).

The study also found those agencies that effectively utilize Big Data analytics see improvements in cybersecurity: 84 percent reported their agency had successfully thwarted a cybersecurity attack with Big Data analytics, and 90 percent said they have seen a decline in security breaches, including malware (50 percent), insider threats (47 percent), and social engineering (46 percent) as a result of Big Data analytics.

The value of Big Data is also obvious, with 94 percent anticipating investments over the next two years in technology infrastructure (61 percent), hardware (52 percent), and business intelligence tools/analytics (52 percent).

“Agencies face a perfect storm of cybersecurity threats,” said MeriTalk founder Steve O’Keefe. “When you’re headed into trouble waters, you need a weather forecast. Big Data provides agencies with the visibility to ensure they don’t end up the river without a paddle.”