Abney and Associates Security 2014 News: Big Returns from Big Data for Security
Big Returns from
Big Data for
Abney and Associates
Security 2014 News
Big data can help draw insights for better
Big data is proving a powerful tool in companies’ neverending struggle to keep data and networks secure.
Big data, or more specifically data analytics, allows vast
amounts of information from disparate sources and often in
different formats to be analysed for patterns and
Gartner predicts that, by 2016, 25 per cent of large global
companies will have adopted big data analytics for cyber
security or fraud detection, up from 8 per cent today.
Avivah Litan, vice-president and distinguished analyst at
Gartner, said enterprises could achieve significant savings in
time and money by using big data analytics to stop crime and
security infractions. They should achieve a positive return on
investment within the first six months of implementation,
which she said was too big to ignore.
From helping pinpoint phishing attempts to screening out scam
calls to financial institutions, big data is proving its worth.
Mathew Benwell, senior information security specialist, IT
risk management, at the University of Adelaide, said the
university turned to general data analytics tool Splunk when
an external security audit revealed problems in dealing with
‘‘Like many organisations, the threat of phishing attacks pose
a growing problem,’’ he said. ‘‘These attacks could result in
compromised accounts, which at times can have a big
Mr Benwell said the university had tried a number of
traditional security and event management products but had
adopted Splunk for its do-it-yourself simplicity.
He said further security applications had emerged since. ‘‘Our use
cases are expanding across more IT teams. It is very much about
using the electronic log data to try and build useful security
A quite different example of how data analytics tools can aid in
security comes from Verint.
Mark Lazar, Verint’s global vice president for identity and fraud
solutions, said the company's Impact 360 product uses passive
voice biometrics to help call centre operators combat persistent
attacks from fraudsters who talk their way past caller verification
checks to gain access to bank accounts. From a recording of a
caller’s voice the system is able to identify that person on
Data analytics make this information even more powerful.
“We can take a fraudster’s voice and track it across time and
across accounts and see what they are doing to attack a call
centre and from that we can develop patterns of how they do
their calling: what is the frequency of the calls, what is the
order in which they do certain kind of transactions. Those
patterns are very different from the patterns that genuine
customers use when they're calling.”
Gartner's Litan said the real security benefits of big data are
yet to emerge. “Big data analytics is ahead of most
organisations' abilities to successfully adopt them, and most
vendors have barely begun to prove their software's
effectiveness, so it's still early days for this market,” she said.
She urged organisations to start small, but think big and
develop a road map that encompasses multiple applications.
“The return on investment on big data analytics is typically
too big to ignore.”