Monday, November 24, 2014

Enhancing Cybersecurity with Big Data

Big data is creating profound business and social opportunities in every nearly field, enabling the discovery of previously hidden patterns and developing new insights to inform and guide decisions. At the same time, protecting the information of individuals and organizations from online threats remains an urgent priority so using big data tools and techniques to enhance cybersecurity is a natural development. For example, an organization might aggregate and analyze log data from all of its computing devices to identify malicious activities. In the absence of big data techniques, the task of storing, processing, and analyzing vast amounts of data is, for all but a few organizations, simply not feasible. Microsoft commissioned a study from the Ponemon Institute to understand whether and how organizations are using big data to improve cybersecurity, and to identify the challenges they face, including security and privacy considerations. The study surveyed more than 100 executive-level respondents in the United States and Europe representing their organization’s IT security, privacy, and compliance functions such as chief information security and privacy officers. The survey results suggest that while most companies have a strong interest in using big data to improve cybersecurity, concerns about the cost and complexity of big data solutions as well as privacy challenges, give them pause. Specifically, many respondents noted a conflict between privacy and security, coupled with ambiguity of how privacy will be protected in these applications. The report also details what security and privacy leaders require in big data solutions for cybersecurity. Finally, we offer five recommendations for organizations seeking to address both the security and privacy concerns of big data solutions.

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