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Using big data for security only provides insight, not protection

Santosh Varughese, President of Cognetyx | Jan. 3, 2017
Machine learning provides the protection big data analytics lack. Instead of figuring out why a breach happened, machine learning can identify a data breach as it’s happening

Humans are fallible. They make mistakes when they are tired, distracted, or in a hurry to get something done. Additionally, no amount of training will stop a malicious insider – a disgruntled employee, ex-employee, or contractor who is determined to strike back at the company or make a quick buck selling confidential data on the Dark Net.

Thankfully, there is a solution: machine learning, a cutting-edge technology, built upon mathematical algorithms that learn and update in real-time, that enable computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. This is the same technology that powers self-driving cars, and it is the single most powerful weapon we have against hackers.

Machine learning provides the protection that big data analytics lack. Instead of figuring out why a breach happened after the fact, machine learning can identify a data breach as it’s happening, or about to happen, and trigger a system alert to shut the breach down before any real damage is done.

Machine learning technology not only makes sense of big data; it can analyze it and extract insight from it far more quickly than a human or even a team of humans ever could. Because of its predictive capabilities, it can be proactive instead of reactive. In real time, machine learning technology can flag a hacker who is using stolen credentials and stop them from getting into your system.

This technology is not baked into the network - but rather baked into the application/data.  This cognitive defense shield is surveilling every login to an application and watches every move the human using the login ID makes within the application to confirm that the 'behavior' of this login session for this userid is within the normal parameters or baseline behavior for that userid.

For example, the algorithms may notice an employee’s credentials are being used from an offsite location, that the employee is attempting to access a part of the system they do not need to perform their job, or that a login attempt is occurring in the middle of the night. Because the machine learning technology has analyzed the employee’s normal computer usage and established a baseline pattern, it can recognize that a particular login attempt is not normal and potentially dangerous, and it will lock that user out until your IT staff can investigate the situation.

Machine learning gives you immediate, critical, actionable insight into your user data; it provides you with the real-time protection that big data analytics cannot. Machine learning is the best way to secure your systems because it is constantly learning what is normal and what is not, and it can act on this information right away, before a hacker gets into your system and steals hundreds or thousands of records.


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