Have you ever stopped to think about the sheer amount of information that your brain collects and processes to make decisions? What you notice and why? How and when do you recognize risks rather than unknowingly filter out the mass of information that is safely ignored? Just as our intelligence provides us with a remarkable capability to make judgments by integrating and examining a wide variety of data, recent technology advances are enabling new insights and automated determination of risk for data security.
Data is inextricably linked to most organization’s intellectual property, revenue stream, and/or competitive advantage. Consequently, sensitive data risk and security is a Board-level concern that can impact the very heart of the business. You see this reflected in the language of 10K statements, which has evolved from “incidents have been insignificant” and “our systems may be vulnerable” to “our systems are vulnerable” and “we have recorded significant expenses.” And, more recently: “we cannot ensure that we can identify, prevent, or contain the effects of attacks.”
The Paradox of Data
Some of the primary challenges around data are its exponential growth and the increasing diversity of its type, value, location, movement, access, and usage. There is typically an inverse relationship between the amount of data and the visibility into that data. To thoroughly understand and manage the risk of data, more contextual information must be gathered. Manual approaches, however, are no longer feasible.
Without automated solutions, data collection at scale is problematic and time consuming. Data remains in siloes across the organization, and there is little to no consistency or standardization of the policies and methodologies used for collection and analysis. Further, without the right kinds of data and sophisticated processing, automation only leads to unacceptable accuracy, overwhelming numbers of alerts, and invalid conclusions.
Data Security Intelligence
Data Security Intelligence (DSI) provides highly automated technology for monitoring, analysis, and prioritization of sensitive data risk. It also provides actionable insights that would otherwise remain hidden, and can surface root causes and downstream impacts of sensitive data. Data Security Intelligence goes far beyond traditional analytics by incorporating next-generation elements such as machine learning and big data technologies to turn uncovered patterns into strategic recommendations for reducing or eliminating sensitive data risk.
CIOs and other executives commonly look to Data Security Intelligence to help solve problems such as:
- Visibility into sensitive data across the organization for compliance, audit or regulatory support, and investigations
- Identification, quantification, and prioritization of data security risks and remediation investments for communication, strategic planning, and alignment to corporate objectives
- Timely, accurate detection and notification of threats associated with sensitive data
Data Security Intelligence features include:
- Visibility into sensitive data risks
- Classification, discovery, and proliferation analysis
- Continuous risk monitoring based on multiple factors
- Detection of high-risk conditions
- Identification of anomalous activities
- Actionable insights to prioritize remediation
Gaps in Existing Solutions
Other categories of security products, although useful, focus on different layers of security, such as the network or endpoint. And scoring models and correlation engines designed for infrastructure, network, and vulnerability events lack the necessary understanding and context of sensitive data. Even data-centric security products, which do understand aspects of data, have limited applicability outside of their purpose-built control area.
Data Security Intelligence is not a replacement for these controls, but rather incorporates information from and interacts with these systems when determining sensitive data risk and suggesting remediation strategies at a higher level. This integrated platform approach helps organizations make the best use of their existing investments in various security products. Going back to the prior analogy, DSI could be viewed as the centralized intelligence of the brain that collects and processes massive amounts of information from our senses, helps us to make judgments, and then orchestrates our actions and executes them through our movements.