Cybersecurity in a Big Data World

Intel predicts there will be more than 200 billion connected things by the year 2020. From heart monitor implants to built-in car sensors, to the doorbell of your home, more technology is developed to simplify and enhance our lives every day. Unfortunately, each new piece of Internet-connected tech presents a growing risk.

These devices are continually collecting data used for ongoing discovery and analysis. Every interaction with a single device leaves a digital trail. It’s a big data world, and it reaches across nearly every industry.

With hackers and cybercriminals running rampant, private information is more vulnerable than ever. In the first six months of 2017 alone, over 1.9 billion records were stolen. That’s more than 7,000 records per minute. This “big data bang” is raising significant concerns when it comes to the privacy and security of personal information and underlines the importance of proactive cybersecurity initiatives.

The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity

Big data presents an ongoing and often unpredictable security risk. With so much sensitive information shared through technology, it’s imperative that businesses keep data safe from potential threats. Too often, companies who believe they’ve protected themselves from digital attacks end up blindsided by malware, hacks, and fraud. Cybersecurity efforts must be multi-layered and proactive to defend against these cybercrimes before they ever happen – saving time, money, reputation, and potential legal repercussions.

There are three main principles behind effective cybersecurity practices: privacy, integrity, and availability. Privacy involves protecting any data that is sensitive, such as social security numbers or credit card information. Integrity involves keeping any information from being altered. For example, if a hospital is hit with malware, it can scramble records, alter lab results, or prevent staff from accessing necessary patient information. Availability involves ensuring those who rely on information have access to it, like in a situation where the firewall or computer is compromised.

Cybersecurity, or lack of, can have significant economic ramifications for consumers and businesses. In September of 2016, 3 billion Yahoo accounts were impacted by the largest data breach in history (more extensive than 2017’s Equifax breach). Users’ names, email addresses, birth dates, and telephone numbers were shared, as well as security questions and answers in some cases. Once valued at $100 billion, Verizon acquired Yahoo for a cool $4.48 billion after the incident.

Challenges That Big Data Presents

With the average cost of a data breach at $3.62 million, the need for cybersecurity teams to protect big data is evident. Businesses are continually working to protect themselves and implement new measures to anticipate and prevent cyber-attacks, but cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, working just as hard to find ways to beat the system. Managing threats in a big data world is becoming increasingly tricky, yet increasingly imperative.

One challenge is the cost-effectiveness of hiring a cybersecurity team. Many companies deploy cybersecurity monitoring devices across their interfaces to detect suspicious behavior. These security information and event management (SIEM) tools are crucial to the safety and security of their networks, but produce massive amounts of data and need real-time analysis. Processing these large volumes of data requires significant power and is extremely costly. However, the cost of recovery from a cyber-attack can be exponentially higher, with massive negative impacts across the entire organization. Therefore, hiring a Chief Information Security Officer or another cybersecurity leader – as well as a team to support them – is critical to the health of the business, and the investment must be considered when budgeting.

Another obstacle is the abundance of false positives that SEIM tools detect. Data captured can produce events that may signify a compromised network—either in isolation or connection with other events. In order to determine the legitimacy of an event, they must be further investigated. Reviewing large batches of false alarms can result in “alert fatigue,” leaving security overwhelmed and potentially disregarding actual threats. Again, this is where thoughtful cybersecurity strategy is integral to the health of an organization. A highly experienced team of cybersecurity professionals can determine processes and procedures that protect a company’s big data while ensuring the effectiveness of the team.

Cybersecurity in a Big Data World

Big data presents countless opportunities for businesses to innovate and expand, but in order to realize and protect earnings, deliberate measures must be taken to anticipate, detect, and prevent threats.  By 2021, cybercrime damages are expected to cost businesses and government $6 trillion as hackers continue to evolve their methods of mining big data.  As a result, the cybersecurity talent pool is extremely competitive. The unemployment rate for these professionals lingers at zero percent, making it extremely difficult to recruit and retain the right person for the job.

At Benchmark IT, we have longstanding relationships with talented cybersecurity professionals who can develop, implement, and manage your IT security initiatives. If you need help recruiting the best people for tomorrow’s challenges, give us a call today.

 

Related Articles

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing the Workplace

The Most In-Demand Technologies of 2018

5 Strategies for Overcoming the IT Talent Shortage