How Big Data Analytics Can Boost Network Security

Published August 27, 2013   |   
Paul Rubens

Conventional wisdom has it that a surefire way of getting your credit card black-flagged is to fill up two or more vehicles with gas and purchase expensive sneakers within a short space of time. That’s because this type of spending behavior is rare, and it’s also indicative of a card thief who treats himself to new footwear and then fills up his own and his friends’ tanks before the card is cancelled.

This type of anomalous behavior gets spotted thanks to Big Data analysis used extensively in large enterprises such as banks to detect card fraud.

But Big Data analysis has many uses beyond fraud detection, and one of the uses that is filtering down from government circles into the enterprise is to detect anomalous network behavior that is indicative of a security breach.

It’s difficult to know exactly what’s being done in the most secure government installations because that type of information is not made readily available, but Chris Donaghey, vice president of corporate development at KEYW Corporation, a security company that does business in government circles, hints that what the government has goes far beyond what is available for most large enterprises. “The reason their systems are better than what’s available in the commercial world is that they have very big budgets,” he explains.

Analyzing for Anomalies

But in the near future KEYW has plans to sell a security system to large enterprises that uses similar Big Data technology to that used by the government, and other companies are bound to follow suit. “What we are planning to do is cherry pick the best concepts to create a commercial product,” he says. In other words, one which is not quite as good — but with a price more suited to a commercial organization than the “best security money can buy” approach which some government agencies feel they have no choice but to adopt.

Read More