Big data poses security challenge to businesses – McAfee

19 Jun 2013

Some organisations are leaving themselves vulnerable to security breaches because they are unable to properly analyse or store big data, a new report titled Needle in a Datastack suggests.

Security firm McAfee has released the report, which reveals only 35pc of firms have the ability to detect data breaches within minutes – an ability that is critical to prevent data loss.

When it comes to identifying a breach, 22pc of organisations said they would need a day to pinpoint the source of a breach, and 5pc said this process would take up to a week. On average, organisations reported that it takes 10 hours for a security breach to be recognised.

“If you’re in a fight, you need to know that while it’s happening, not after the fact,” said Mike Fey, executive vice-president and worldwide chief technology officer.

“This study has shown what we’ve long suspected – that far too few organisations have real-time access to the simple question ‘am I being breached?’ Only by knowing this can you stop it from happening.”

The advent of big data, which involves huge volumes of data, is challenging security teams, McAfee said.

To overcome this challenge, organisations have moved from traditional data management architectures to systems that are purpose-built to handle security data management in the age of advanced persistent threats, McAfee added.

McAfee also offers organisations suggestions on how to strengthen their big data security:

  • With the need to identify complex attacks, organisations should go beyond pattern matching to achieve true risk-based analysis and modelling.
  • This approach should be backed by a data-management system able to create complex real-time analytics.
  • In addition to the ability to spot threats in real-time, organisations should have the ability to identify potentially sinister long-term trends and patterns.

Data analysis image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic