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8 things your boss wants you to know about 'Big Data Security'

Sridhar Karnam (Sri_Karnam) ‎01-27-2014 05:03 PM - edited ‎07-07-2015 10:18 AM

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The multitude of devices, users, and generated traffic all combine to create a proliferation of data that is being created with incredible volume, velocity, and variety. As a result, organizations need a way to protect, utilize, and gain real-time insight from “big data.”


This intelligence is not only valuable to businesses and consumers, but also to hackers. Robust information marketplaces have arisen for hackers to sell credit card information, account usernames, passwords, national secrets (WikiLeaks), as well as intellectual property. How does anyone keep secrets anymore? How does anyone keep secrets protected from hackers?


Read through the 8 topics that your boss expects you to know about 'Big Data Security':


The big question of big data - Why collect so much:

In the past when the network infrastructure was straightforward and perimeters used to exist, controlling access to data was much simpler. If your secrets rested within the company network, all you had to do to keep the data safe was to make sure you had a strong firewall in place. However, as data became available through the Internet, mobile devices, and the cloud having a firewall was not enough.

The first step is to establish complete visibility so that your data and its accessability can be monitored. Businesses need the ability to secure data and aggregate into an intelligent format, so that real-time alerting and reporting on its movement can be tracked. Next, you need to understand the context, so that you can focus on the valued assets, which are critical to your business. Finally, utilize the intelligence gathered to harden your attack surface.


Bad guys are getting better than good guys:
Attackers can getting sophisticated. It is a 9-5 paid jobs to them. In fact hacking is a $100+ Billion industry compared to $30+ security industry. The bad guys are also working together and breaking the cyber borders. Verizon's data base investigation report 2013 suggests that 97% of breaches could have been prevented by simple controls such as log management. This indicates that companies are ignoring anything security.


Trends that are slowing innovation in big data security:

Most companies have too many tools, too much data, or too many ideas. Everybody talks about big data but not many uses it effectively to analyze them to secure your big data. The buzz words change regularly and so does the adoption. The technology or the toolset is not as important as the concept of comprehensive monitoring of data for security intelligence.


Threats to data:

The data is dynamic. It moves from systems to systems through users and through various mobile and unsecured devices. The data is exposed to various types of infrastructure and is almost like driving where you need to absorb mistakes of other drivers to be safe. In this constantly navigating data, locking down the data is counter to what everyone outside of the IT organization is asking for. Most users ask for open and collaborative environment where they can work with their customers, partners, and entire supply chain. This is putting stress on amount of data generated and is creating more vulnerabilities than ever.


Innovative attack methods:

We are seeing the trends of malwares going through complete SDLC. The malwares are developed through crowd-source. Bad guys have a process to create the best malware. It goes through QA and testing. It even has an open market place. Malware attracks more brain power today than before. Cybercriminals test the malwares on numerous machines and operating systems to ensure it bypasses detection.


Meanwhile, server-side polymorphic threats drive rapid evolution and propagation and are undetectable using traditional methods. One hundred pieces of malware can be multiplied in thousands of different ways. And malware is no longer restricted to personal computers. Multi-platform malware means mobile devices are also at risk.


IT-enabled organizations continue to grow more complex:

The back end organization such as BPOs, KPOs, and call centers are growing complex, have more power than ever before. The self-service applications on mobile and kiosks also have lot more capabilities than ever. Your data could be navigating, used or even created/ modified in these places. It is typically low-skilled (compared to CISSP certified security analysts handling data) handling most important information on least secured devices. Also, your vendors may not have the same security posture as yours. The biggest bank heist in the history happened with no guns, blood, or voilence using just these systems last year.


Compliance is getting costlier and complex:
Continuous monitoring is the most effective solution to ensure cost-effective compliance. A simple audit cost for SOX could cost as much as 15-person's salary for a year. Automating the compliance controls and monioring it would ensure two-levels of compliance and security solutions. There is 70% similarity between compliance and security policies with security policies encompassing almost 100% of the compliace policies. Having a safe and secured environment ensures a compliant organization. Companies, particularly those with multiple lines of business or international operations, have an increasingly hard time keeping track of current controls that are in place, controls that are needed, and how to ensure controls are being managed properly.


Living on the cloud:

Cloud, virtualization, mobility, flexible deployment is all inter-related. SaaS or MSSP based delivery model is growing in popularity and is enabling organizations move frm Opex to Capex spending behavior. This is also asking a big question as to who is responsible for security? Is it the cloud providers? consumers? or the infrastructure guys? The right answer is everyone. Addng multiple layers of security ensures good security posture. Even if one or two layers is broken, you still have policies to monitor and prevent your valuable data.

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