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How Big Data Analytics Strengthens Cybersecurity

Renee Johnson
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The attacks cybercriminals are using grow more complex and sophisticated by the day. However, with the help of big data analytics, you aren’t left defenseless. You can use big data analytics to fortify your cyber defenses and reduce your vulnerabilities.

This article covers some of the ways big data analytics can reinforce your company’s cybersecurity.

1. Analytics can help you uncover suspicious patterns.

Big data analytics protects your business data and strengthens your cybersecurity by providing valuable cybersecurity intelligence to your data analytics experts. These experts are knowledgeable and trained to collect, store, and examine data on your systems’ functionalities and workflows.

As they process the data, they can note any suspicious activity and track the information sources. They can determine whether these patterns are signs of potentially fraudulent transactions, data breaches, and other cyber attacks.

For instance, specialists can monitor user behavior and uncover anomalies in the way people work within the system.

The experts can further investigate if these anomalies are indications of phishing, distributed denial of service attacks, brute-force attempts, or other illicit operations. Over time, your team can become well-acquainted with vulnerabilities and warning signs of cybersecurity attacks.

They can also track security threats, develop proper investigation and response protocols, and keep a database of your cybersecurity risks.

2. Reviewing analytics offers opportunities for data cleaning.

Big data lets you handle volumes of various data formats — be it structured, unstructured, or relational — and sources. These data sources can include business transactions, sensor information, social media analytics, text documents, email videos, stock ticker data, and more.

Because of that, you can encounter cybersecurity risks since you process truckloads of sensitive information. You can overlook data access issues, deletions, and unintentional and deliberate misuse. Not to mention dealing with data inconsistency and disorganization!

Address those potential data security risks by cleaning your data and enhancing how you manage massive, complex data. Do that effectively with the help of robust technologies such as a data warehouse.

What is a “data warehouse?”

A data warehouse is a system built to support data analysis and reporting. It serves as your central repository for integrated data — that is, data consolidated from various sources, enabling users to access a unified, understandable, and usable view of critical data.

Data warehousing systems also modernize corporate data utilization through robust, scalable infrastructure. Data warehouse content can come from your operational systems (enterprise resource planning, PI system, historian, etc.), relational databases, transactional and financial systems, and more. The warehouse data can also include historical and up-to-date information, which internal users can access to create analytical reports.

The platforms can provide speedy, efficient access to reliable business data in standard formats, particularly to analysts, data experts, and organizational decision-makers.

However, not all data warehousing systems are built equal. They can vary in their performance, scalability, use cases, and architecture. That is why you should select one that best fits your company’s needs.

For instance, let’s say you’re comparing Redshift vs. BigQuery. The former has manual query scalability processes while the latter automates it. Redshift also uses table-locking or batch-centric ingestion workflows, while BigQuery writes one row at a time with limits of 100,000 messages per second by default.

By using data warehouses, you can clean, sort, and organize your enormous datasets and simplify data access restriction, among others.

3. Analytics help with enforcing robust security measures.

Based on the data collected by your specialists, you can implement effective cybersecurity solutions tailored to your business requirements, susceptibilities, and organizational dynamics. Setting up a safer information environment entails a company-wide commitment, and big data can play a significant role in keeping unwanted persons at bay.

Your analytics professionals can study security-related data, recommend robust defense tools and procedures, and explain the attack-countering strategy to different departments. You can then create and enforce robust policies and guidelines with corresponding appropriate penalties for violation.

Some cybersecurity measures to begin implementing include:

  • updating all software and hardware;
  • regularly maintaining your software and hardware;
  • implementing sophisticated authentication mechanisms (preferably multi-step verification methods);
  • the routine removal of unnecessary information and users recorded in your systems;
  • modifying data access settings according to people’s designations, tenure, and other relevant factors; and
  • replacing weak account credentials with memorable but hard-to-crack usernames and passwords.

Big data analytics enables your organization to implement additional measures for defense. With a real-time, data-based approach, you can forecast, isolate, and stop dangerous user behaviors and recognize fraud as it occurs. You can also respond immediately according to your established protocols.

4. You can plan your defense strategy against future cyber threats.

Cyber antagonists constantly modify their tactics to adapt to emerging security measures and technologies. Persistent threats can also lie in waiting for extended periods before you detect any sign of them.

These potential dangers are why you should empower your cybersecurity policies and plan your defense strategies with big data analytics. You should also harness detection tools drawing on techniques, such as data mining and machine learning to recognize attacks during your operations.

Work with specialists with the necessary training to forecast and thwart intruders as you plan your long-term cyber defense game plan. Otherwise, provide sufficient appropriate skills training for your existing IT department to learn to harness big data analytics for your cyber defense strategy.

Additionally, include these security measures in your long-term plan:

  • Invest in continuous validation, breach and attack simulations, and similar modern mechanisms.
  • Conduct regular risk assessment, including current threats experienced or recognized.
  • Educate all staff to recognize social engineering tactics and report suspicious activities, links, and files.
  • Keep tabs on cybersecurity updates and advanced big data techniques and solutions.
  • Share the MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK) framework for your staff’s reference, especially the IT department.
  • Enroll your business analytics specialists, analysts, and other individuals holding relevant positions in educational programs that teach using data analytics for cybersecurity.
  • Create a cybersecurity culture in your organization through the consistent execution of security measures.

Bolster your cybersecurity now with big data analytics.

Harness big data analytics to enhance your company’s security stance. Doing so can keep cyber adversaries at bay and protect your revenues, brand image, and sustainability. Examine how much you’re using big data analytics to safeguard your networks, systems, and assets, and see how you can improve your efforts.

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