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Why contextual data and analytics are vital for security

Nayela Deeba | Dec. 19, 2016
Government agencies should implement analytics in order to maintain data security in Singapore.

While opening data sets to the public enables the Singapore government to encourage citizens and businesses to create digital services that will contribute to its Smart Nation vision, the move poses security risks.   

According to a survey by Rapid 7, Singapore is ranked 49th out of the 50 countries it surveyed in terms of data exposure. The survey defined "exposure" as offering services that either expose potentially sensitive data over cleartext channels or are widely recognised to be unwise to make available on the internet, such as database systems.

"We surveyed and realised that 1.4 million are publicly accessible in Singapore, out of which, four percent are exposed to harmful database services," said Tas Glakouminakis, Co Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Rapid7, during the GCIO Forum 2016  in Singapore on 24 November.

So how should government agencies balance the service needs of citizens while ensuring data security? "The answers to this conundrum lie within the data. Data alone is not what will make you successful - in fact, too much data without the right context can lead you to be [overwhelmed]," Glakouminakis said.

He thus highlighted the need for government agencies to use intelligent analytics to gain contextual data that enables IT/security teams to anticipate and respond to threats. "With such data, security teams can easily and quickly decide] 'which systems do I patch first', 'which of these 100 SIEM alerts is the most critical' or even 'is my organisation under attack'. Rapid7 believes that harnessing the power of contextual insight will allow government agencies to empower both their users and also their security teams to proactively protect their ecosystem, via a risk-based security posture."


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