Information is the most valuable asset, which is why everyone is recognising the importance of data in business and the economy. But our heavy reliance on information to make decisions requires an understanding of how to protect it.
With increasing data causing new cyber threats to surface daily, data practitioners who are utilising preventative technologies to bridge the security gap are at a competitive advantage when it comes to gaining the trust of their clients. Digital innovation enabled by data and analytics has taken the world by storm and is present in our everyday lives, even on our wrists. With wearable technology and mobile devices collecting a vast amount of information about us, it’s no surprise that security and privacy have become primary concerns.
“The sophistication, ferocity, and scope of attacks have also increased. We’ve moved beyond merely defending against criminals. We’re now fighting back against nation states, organised crime, and a troubling new trend: criminal organisations hacking on behalf of rogue nations.” – TechRepublic
To combat this threat, the use of analytics and machine learning are really adding value to businesses looking to build up their defences.
“Big Data and analytics is showing promise with improving cyber security. 90% of respondents from MeriTalk’s new U.S. government survey said they’ve seen a decline in security breaches.” – SentinelOne.
DETECTING & PREVENTING CYBER THREATS
“It’s data that’s getting stolen, but it’s also data that can come to the rescue. You just have to know how to use it in the right way.” – Susan O’Brien: Vice President of Marketing at Datameer.
According to the 2016 Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics Research Report, 72 percent of respondents said that Big Data Analytics played an important role in detecting advanced cyber threats.
Here’s some examples of how businesses can use Big Data Analytics to detect and prevent cyber attacks.
#1 – USING HISTORICAL DATA
With worldwide data reaching unprecedented levels, new cyber threats are emerging daily. To combat this, an article in CSO discusses the benefits of using historical data to identify potential cyber attacks while also predicting future events.
“Using this historical data, you can create statistical baselines to identify what is ‘normal’. You will then be able to determine when the data deviates from the norm. This historical data can also create new possibilities for predictive models, statistical models, and machine learning.”
#2 – MONITORING EMPLOYEE ACTIVITY
“Employing a system monitoring program where the HR person or compliance officer can replay the behavior of an insider is invaluable.” – Kevin Prince: CEO of StratoZen.
Frequent news headlines about “inside jobs” involving data hacks and leaking of information make it hard to ignore the fact that employee-related breaches are on the rise.
By ensuring that access to sensitive information is limited only to the relevant employees, and appropriate policies and procedures are put in place to protect and monitor the use of information, organisations can prevent security breaches by staff.
“Unauthorised access is when staffers use applications to view files or change data they should not be able to touch. This usually requires another employee, such as a system administrator, to be lax with system access controls. Data theft or destruction can follow.” – Justin Kapahi: Vice President of Solutions & Security at External IT.
#3 – EDUCATING YOUR TEAM
Although it’s crucial to take the right security measures, educating your team on how to recognise potential threats is just as important. Cyber criminals are targeting employees in many ways including text, email, phone calls, fake websites and dangerous links that could give hackers possession of an organisation’s most confidential information.
“Hackers routinely target workers who are dangerously oblivious to proper cybersecurity practices. Managers who care about protecting their clients, their firms and themselves must prioritize educating employees of all levels on how breaches occur.” – Tech Center.
#4 – DEPLOYING AN INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEM
Data encryption, multi-factor authentication and firewalls are all common security measures, but another important precaution to take is deploying an Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
“IDS provides an umbrella to the network by monitoring all traffic on specific segments that may contain malicious traffic or have mal-intent. The sole function of a network-based IDS is to monitor the traffic of that network.” – TechTarget.
When deploying an Intrusion Detection System, It’s important to understand the requirements of your business in order to select the one most suitable one for the company’s infrastructure.
“Intrusion detection and prevention should be used for all mission-critical systems and systems that are accessible via the Internet, such as Web servers, e-mail systems, servers that house customer or employee data, active directory server, or other systems that are deemed mission critical.” – IT Business Edge.
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