Big Data Enhances Security for Federal Agencies

There’s no doubt that “big data” is the technology trend du jour for government agencies and businesses alike. And for good reason. Organizations of all types can reap great benefits from leveraging information from their technology systems to make better decisions, improve processes and – now – increase IT security.

With the ever-increasing sophistication and persistence of attacks, particularly against federal agencies, the variety, volume and analytic needs of security data have grown beyond the capabilities of traditional information management systems. In addition, the bigger the organization, the bigger the data pool and the harder and more time-consuming it is to detect anomalies. And collecting more data traditionally requires more time and money, neither of which is in great supply for agencies.

The advanced threats facing federal agencies today and in the future demand collecting more security data, analyzing it with a greater level of sophistication for real-time threat management and keeping the data longer to enable long-term analysis of trends and patterns to spot dormant or insider risks. Legacy data management approaches – and believing that antivirus and database tools are sufficient for monitoring security breaches – will not keep federal agencies safe. Attacks are too constant and too sophisticated.

That’s why security information and event management (SIEM) should be included as a layer of every agency’s defense. SIEM technology helps large enterprise and government customers identify, correlate and remediate information security threats on their networks. It gives federal agencies the ability to track and analyze years of data consisting of billions of event and flow records, reducing the time needed to identify and mitigate threats on large-scale networks.

Today, SIEM is shifting from being regarded as a compliance tool to an essential requirement that plays an everyday, critical role in the security architecture of an organization. The patchwork of security tools organizations have historically relied on are no longer up to the task and, in fact, leave numerous gaps of vulnerability across the infrastructure from the network and devices to servers and databases. For real-time visibility and analytics, predictive insights and long-term modelling, organizations need an integrated, multi-layered approach to security.

Big data holds many answers, but only if organizations have the capability to harness the ever growing amounts of security information. While SIEM is “big data,” it delivers information that government agencies can use to improve security. And big data and analytics are nothing without actionable information.

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