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"The term is sort of nebulous to security people," says Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "They've already been collecting tons and tons of data."
But there is no shortage of vendors building a case for big data around network forensics and risk management. Here at the RSA Conference, a number of companies -- from IBM to Agiliance to EMC's RSA security division itself -- have made announcements about leveraging big data to improve security.
"There [are] so many events happening at the network layer, so the ability to do stream processing across those events and detect anomalous, malicious behavior is important," Oltsik says.
In partnership with Pivotal, EMC's RSA security division released the "Big Data for Security Analytics" reference architecture (PDF), with the goal of speeding the detection and response time for enterprises dealing with attacks.
"The architecture uses a much more open and flexible Hadoop-based architecture that has an entire ecosystem of tools built around it, rather than proprietary tools that can’t take advantage of these innovations," explained Paul Stamp, director of product marketing at RSA, in a blog post. "Through this reference architecture, security teams can get a complete set of analytic tools, specifically designed for enterprise security and threat detection, not just a generic platform that leaves much of the creation of tools to support the security team to the end customer."
An announcement from Agiliance fits into the same mold. The company released RiskVision 7, which introduced what the company calls "Big Data Risk Management." With RiskVision 7, customers can mine petabytes of operational and security risk data from such sources as ERP systems and third-party business applications. The latest version of RiskVision contains a new object framework that allows the consumption of large data records and a new logic framework that offers dynamic data workflows to streamline operational risk audits, according to the company.
"Agiliance eschews the status quo in risk management by replacing managerial opinion and tactical consulting with a purpose-built, big data solution for customers and partners to manage business performance," said Joe Fantuzzi, president and chief executive officer at Agiliance, in a statement. "Modern risk management requires real-time data and business self-sufficiency so risk owners can respond to business, board, and regulator demands in a timely and accurate fashion."
Rounding out the product releases was a partnership from Narus and IBM, in which the two companies pledged to work together to provide faster resolution of security threats using IBM's InfoSphere BigInsights and Narus' nSystem technology. In the joint announcement, the companies stated that the integration with IBM InfoSphere Stream enables nSystem to run streaming data analytics on large data flows.
"The Narus and IBM collaboration brings big data analytics innovations to market and provides the stability and scalability required to address the needs of large enterprises," said John Trobough, president at Narus, in a statement. "The initial focus on cybersecurity brings the deep visibility and rich context required to make the right security decisions quickly and accelerate the time to resolution of malicious threats."
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