Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Sandi Mappic, Michael Bushong, Barbara Porter

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, Java, Linux, Cloud Expo, Security, SDN Journal

Big Data Journal: Article

Security Through Data Analytics

The best way to protect the infrastructure, the brand and the consumer

Given the mountains of data now floating around, it is perhaps inevitable that the very function of data analytics is seen as somehow intrusive. There's a constant glut of reports, columns and other stories bemoaning the lack of data privacy - and at times, they're entirely justified. Organizations have a solemn duty to protect their customers' data, and those that don't implement the proper safeguards deserve to be vilified.

But beneath the surface lurks another dimension of this discussion that is often overlooked. Ethical and effective data analytics enhances security. Ethical and effective data analytics protects not only the institutions that possess the data, but also the consumers that data reflects. Ethical and effective data analytics serves a good purpose.

Let's be clear about the parameters of this argument. Data doesn't exist in a vacuum - it's generated on an ongoing basis through multiple activities, created in numerous formats and comes in through a variety of channels. At any given time, it is being analyzed and used (and occasionally misused) to serve many different needs.

Of course, when done right, information services and analytics represent a key driver of most business decisions. Actionable intelligence based on real data doesn't just augment gut instinct; it leads to quantitative thinking that supports strategic initiatives, enables tactical outreach and boosts the bottom line. Perhaps most important, it enhances information security so as to protect customer privacy and prevent operational and brand damage.

High-profile assaults on retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus, or clandestine downloads of classified information from the National Security Administration (NSA), make more news than inside-the-infrastructure DDoS attacks, but the latter is even more insidious. There are over 2,000 DDoS attacks every day. Some 65 percent of all organizations see three or more attacks each year. While the devastation is certainly felt on an organizational level, the financial impact is just as significant: DDoS attacks can cost up to $100K an hour.

DDoS mitigation can be an enormous challenge. Making an accurate distinction between normal, benign Internet traffic and malicious activity that could be the root cause of a potential DDoS attack is critical, but it's not easy. This is in part because DDoS attacks, especially when they serve as the front line of advanced targeted attacks, are remarkably sophisticated. They rely on stealth techniques that go unnoticed within the enterprise for long periods. They're highly customized, based specifically on each target's infrastructure and defenses, and can often defeat defense strategies that rely primarily on signature-based detection. Then of course there's the cloud. When attacks become super-sized, the defensive strategies in place must have the capacity to scrub far larger volumes of bad traffic.

This is why information services and analytics are so crucial. They can boost awareness and reaction time to particular situations. When it comes to leveraging Big Data within the enterprise to help identify breach attempts, it's still early days. According to a January 2014 report from Gartner, eight percent of enterprises are using data and analytics to identify security flaws. But there's reason for optimism - the same report also estimates that within the next two years, around 25 percent of enterprises will leverage Big Data for security purposes.

It is this same pattern-searching approach that the enterprise should take when it comes to DDoS mitigation. Proactive site monitoring on a continuous basis - in particular with a centralized view of traffic patterns - enables organizations to identify anomalies and threats, before they become real problems. For example, in the case of a custom application being exploited for a directed attack to steal customer data, the detection solution must be able to identify and highlight the fact that there's a new kind of application traffic on the network.

This might be a new concept to enforce at the enterprise level, but this is really something that banks have been doing for years with regard to fraud protection services. Banks monitor a person's transaction activity, and when a purchase is made that does not fit the usual spending behavior, it is stopped and flagged with the customer. The same thing should - and will - happen at the enterprise level.

It's easy to see why information services and analytics are too often seen as a potential invasion of privacy. Data privacy is vital, and it should rightfully be a corporate priority. However, in the ongoing effort to secure data, the right kind of analytics can be the best weapon of all.

More Stories By Mark Bregman

Mark F. Bregman is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Neustar. He joined the Neustar executive team in August 2011 and is responsible for Neustar’s product technology strategy and product development efforts.

Prior to joining Neustar, Dr. Bregman was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Symantec since 2006. His portfolio while CTO of Symantec Corporation included developing the company’s technology strategy and overseeing its investments in advanced research and development, security and technology services.

Prior to Symantec, Dr. Bregman served as Executive Vice President, Product Operations at Veritas Corporation, which merged with Symantec in 2005. Prior to Veritas, he was CEO of AirMedia, an early mobile content marketplace, and spent 16 years in a variety of roles at IBM. Dr. Bregman serves on the Board of the Bay Area Science & Innovation Consortium and the Anita Borg Institute, which focuses on increasing the impact of women on all aspects of technology.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Latest Stories
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The 15th International Cloud Expo has just expanded its conference program, to bring together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC at one location. Cloud Expo is the single show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to learn about the latest technology developments and solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare Corporation, a leading enabler of smart connected systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Bsquare is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NuoDB, Inc., the leader in webscale distributed database technology, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NuoDB was launched in 2010 by industry-renowned database architect Jim Starkey and accomplished software CEO Barry Morris to deliver a webscale distributed database management system that is specifically designed for the cloud and the modern datacenter.