IDG Contributor Network: Leveraging analytics to improve security

The concept of big data can be overwhelming for many organizations. They know that they have valuable information coming in from various sources, but often struggle with how to organize and action that data in any meaningful way. This struggle is exacerbated by clever marketing and buzz word bingo, which further confuses actual requirements and proper adoption of big data solutions; organizations fear they’re falling behind by failing to adopt the seemingly endless stream of new tools that promise to leverage their data.

Because leveraging big data analytics seems so daunting, many IT professionals end up only dipping a toe into the potential capabilities, but never quite jump in to take advantage of them all. However, properly utilizing data analytics can turn your organization’s data into actionable information and provide tremendous insight into everything going on within an environment. And, with the correct approach, using this data to enhance your security posture can be straightforward. Here are three things to focus on when developing your own data analytics program.

The right team

A well-versed team is crucial for leveraging analytics to enhance an organization’s security posture. Even with the latest technology in place, employees must have the right skills to pull meaningful insight from data flows and act on that information.

Take, for example, the infamous Target security breach of 2013, where point-of-service endpoints were accessed through the HVAC system. The part of the story that often gets glossed over is that their security team did, in fact, have the proper tools in place to identify and act on the threat, but employees interpreted the reading as a false positive. If these employees had been properly equipped to identify and act upon the analytics provided by their security tools, they could have prevented the theft of millions of customers’ credit card information.