Assessing Current and Emerging Cyber-Threats

Security expert Steve Durbin discusses nation-state espionage and the dangers lurking in cyberspace, and urges organizations to become cyber resilient.


When companies apply data analytics to information security problems, what are the most common things they do right? And what do they often do wrong?

For the information security department, big data analytics could help identify cyber-criminal or state-sponsored zero-day attacks. Modern malware and cyber-attacks often rely on stealth and the element of surprise, which makes them increasingly successful even against state-of-the-art anti-malware solutions. As a result, many of the anti-malware vendors are using big data analytics to analyze malware reports and associated network traffic in an effort to identify and mitigate malware campaigns as they occur.

In terms of supply chain security, big data analytics has the potential to profile or identify suppliers by scanning sources such as contracts, service level agreements, procurement and vendor management databases, connectivity logs, invoices, delivery and shipping notes, and payment and expense records. Big data analytics can create an overarching view of supply chain security by analyzing high-risk suppliers' security data such as that which is held in suppliers' network logs, event management databases and intrusion detection systems. It can also compare suppliers across different dimensions of information security risk.

When we look at internal threats, several of our member companies are using big data analytics to identify standard patterns of staff behavior. Big data sources may include e-mail content; web activity, including access to competitors' Websites and trade forums; and access logs.

Pressure is mounting on businesses to embrace big data because of the enormous insights and competitive advantage it can provide. Since we're still in the early days, we have not yet seen a tremendous amount of external requirements mandating businesses to assure information integrity. However, the sheer scale of information processed by businesses continues to increase and with big data analytics bringing business decisions closer and closer to raw data, the quality of information has become increasingly important.

About the Author

Jack Rosenberger is the managing editor of CIO Insight. You can follow him on Twitter via @CIOInsight. To read his previous CIO Insight article, "Three Things CIOs Can Learn From Sayta Nadella," click here.

This article was originally published on 04-09-2014
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