Cyber attacks and security breaches are now a constant threat for businesses. Costing the global economy $450 billion in 2016, they’re now occurring with increased regularity, which in turn has forced businesses to focus more on cybersecurity protocols to protect their key data.
A report issued by Malwarebytes showed that over one billion Malware-based incidents manifested between June and November of 2016, and it’s expected that most of those incidents actually went unnoticed until they had breached a network.
A primary target for cybercriminals are the gaps found when big data files are stored, and following the introduction of the cloud, with its unlimited storage facilities, a new avenue has been opened for hackers to penetrate a system. Allowing for the storage of larger datasets in one place, which can then be simultaneously accessed by numerous people, it’s this transition from data centre storage to the cloud that cybercriminals are looking to target. If security protocols of a business are not enforced and up-to-date then a system can be breached.
However, it isn’t only big data storage systems that now harbor potential threats. Cybercriminals have now begun to utilize smartphones and wearable technology to breach a company network. With statistics showing that four out of five UK adults now own a smartphone, many of which access secure work WiFi networks on a daily basis, it has opened up as the next route that hackers are choosing to exploit.
As the threat from cybercriminals increases, businesses can’t take data security lightly, as cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to access a system.
Detecting a threat as soon as it penetrates a security firewall is not an easy task by any means, and when a breach does happen there’s no simple fix. They are, however, manageable, and it’s data analytics that has become the newest line of security to help stop threats and increase protection.
A recent survey found that 53% of businesses use data analytics to detect high-security threats to their business. This is a figure which should increase, as findings from a report by the Ponemon Institute shows that an organisation is 2.25 times more likely to recognise a threat within hours or minutes if they implement data analytics.
What is data analytics?
The process of data analytics involves data specialists examining large sets of data to uncover anomalies that are not normally seen by the naked eye. Analysts will sift through data searching for unknown correlations in figures or hidden patterns, and from the information collected, they’re able to perform a comprehensive analysis, and use their findings to identify and deter cyber attacks.
To identify if and when a security breach may happen, analysts will apply predictive analysis techniques to data when it’s under examination. Using statistical methods such as predictive modelling, it enables analysts to use statistics to predict potential outcomes. Partnered with data mining, in which analysts sift through large amounts of historical data, they are then able to cross-examine it with real-time data in order to firm up their predictions.
If a threat area is identified, security protocols will then be implemented, alongside algorithms relevant to the data type or structure which are placed in the development code. This should then close the vulnerability and stop firewall breaches instantaneously.
What can it do for your business?
Despite the ability for data analytics to offer a solution to a daily problem, it’s still something that hasn’t been put to full use by businesses. But with software now available that can be used to aid analysis of larger datasets such as Hadoop, it’s becoming a more mainstream solution.
The data gathered during the analytics process will provide a business with a better understanding of cyber attacks arming them with the correct tools to ultimately stop them from happening. It also allows IT security teams to protect businesses from the inside out.
Larger organisations often have an in-house team constantly monitoring security. But for smaller businesses, there are still options to increase your security protocols. Systems such as managed security service providers offer some network security management, which can be used if your business simply doesn’t have the resources to hire a large team of experts.
Data analytics can also help to quash the potential threats from inside your organisation. Using a security information and event management system (SIEM), businesses are able to monitor devices that are connected to the network, and through the data collected, if a security risk is identified it can be halted.
Implementing data analytics is a practice that every business can use to protect themselves against cyber attacks, increasing their front line of defence, the information collected can help improve security on a business network, and could – in the future – mean an end to the unpredicted breaches to security systems.