Big Data: The Future of Better Cybersecurity


The accumulation of data is increasing daily at an exponential rate and the high profile nature of data breaches can be extremely damaging for a company. Therefore, the ability of a business to protect its data is crucial for its survival.

Having the ability to identify threats to security as quickly as possible, either by detecting or fixing these threats is critical. The right tools are needed in these situations and advances in Big Data analytics are showing a promising reduction in combatting Cyberattacks and improving security as a whole.


Some Numbers on Big Data and Cybersecurity

While data may be more secure in some ways it is still under massive threat, and implementing a data analytics strategy is not a one size fit all panacea. Despite best efforts, it only takes one successful attack to compromise data and attackers are using a variety of tactics to accomplish this.

A recent report by Verizon showed that hacking accounted for 62% of attacks, malware 51%, 43% social, and 14% was by internal security mistakes. Data analytics is playing a key part in cybersecurity when used properly, however. 



A recent study that involved the U.S. government showed that 84% of the respondents used Big Data to help prevent attacks. Companies can perform an in depth analysis initially to establish a data ‘norm’. Using these norms, coupled with future analyses, a company can quickly see any deviations between the two to uncover breaches and attacks.

The next step is to automate as much of the process as possible so deviations can be picked up quicker and dealt with by the appropriate people. This can be achieved by simplifying complex data structures into forms that can be worked with more easily. This process proves even more effective over time as long term trends pick up deviations that were not spotted in a one off check. 


Monitoring Employees 

Often it is attacks from within that are resulting in some of the largest breaches of data. To combat this, and prevent another Edward Snowden, some companies have added specific security features as part of their automation strategy.

One of these measures are systems that will automatically cut off suspicious devices that are downloading data. Another is an alert that will send out notifications if an employee is using data suspiciously.


The Future

This technology is not without its own challenges. At the moment one of the biggest issues is the sheer volume of data that needs to be stored somewhere. Keeping track of historical data, norms, deviations can take up a prohibitive amount of storage space.

Cloud storage is helping overcome this obstacle by making storage cheaper and easier as a whole. AI and machine learning are also helping to improve the process by automating the analysis and detection of threats and alerts more effectively than humans are able to.



Big data analysis has been proven to be effective in the fight against cyber-attacks and data breaches – both internal and external.

It is a potent tool for Cybersecurity and will only increase in effectiveness as its use becomes more sophisticated and is used alongside other technologies such as cloud computing, AI, and machine learning.

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