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Challenges to Cyber Security & How Big Data Analytics Can Help

By on May 26, 2016

As the complexity of IT networks has grown, the inventiveness and sophistication of cyber security threats and attacks has grown just as quickly. Some sobering stats:

Key Challenges to Combating Cyber Security Threats

As malware attacks increase in volume and complexity, it’s becoming more difficult for traditional analytic tooling and infrastructure to keep up thanks to:

  • Data volume: For example, every day at SophosLabs, over 300,000 new potentially malicious files that require analysis are reported.
  • Scalability: SQL-based tooling and infrastructure doesn’t scale well and is costly to maintain. This Dataconomy post on SQL vs. NoSQL, What You Need to Know is a good primer on why that is and more.

Big Data Analytics as a Path Forward to Cyber Security

The good news is companies and key analyst firms are recognizing that these challenges can be overcome with big data analytics and modern BI platforms. Analyst firms have been writing reports and advising their clients about the impacts of big data analytics on cyber security across industries:

  • IDC identifies cloud and big data analytics will prevent cyber threats against health organizations
  • Gartner says by 2016, 25 percent of large global companies will have adopted big data analytics for at least one security or fraud detection use case
  • Ovum advises enterprises to use big data to fight security threats

A Cyber Security Company’s Big Data Analytics Approach

So who’s been there, done that, and what can you learn from them? Sophos, who began producing antivirus and encryption products nearly 30 years ago, now helps secure the networks used by 100 million people in 150 countries and 100,000 businesses using big data analytics. Today, big data analytics  is integral to Sophos’ daily malware detection in multiple use cases:

  1. Malware research and analysis. Malware is becoming more evasive and pervasive. Sophos analyzes the characteristics of suspicious files and report the analysis outcome.
  2. Macro trend analysis. Sophos analysts also analyze the data for macro trends of malware movements to better understand and anticipate the direction of the threat landscape.
  3. Measuring detection performance. Analyzing statistics on the performance of malware detection to understand which protection technology is providing us the most value.

Read their full story here.

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Susan O'Brien Datameer

Susan O'Brien

Susan O'Brien is Vice President of Marketing at Datameer.