Amplifying Security Intelligence

Hello from IBM Insight 2014 in Las Vegas. The event is amazing and has allowed me to meet with our clients and business partners to discuss how security has become an integral part of big data analytics strategies.

When I walk through the casinos, I see people all having fun trying to beat the odds, whether they are playing blackjack or roulette. However, I am also reminded that security is not a game, and it’s an area where you can’t afford to lose. IBM X-Force’s trend and risk research reported that 2012 saw a 40 percent increase in security breaches, while 2013 saw over 500 million records breached. Moreover, a recent Ponemon study states that on average, the odds of having a material data breach involving more than 10,000 records is higher than 22 percent over a two-year period.

In addition to the media coverage a breach could cause, there is also a large amount of money at risk, even by Vegas standards. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data beach is $3.5 million. Remember, this is just the average, so think about the cost of some of the large-scale security breaches you have read about in the news recently. The attack chain is real and becomes more sophisticated all the time. New approaches to security are needed, and at IBM Security, we have been working hard to stay ahead of the threat.

I am currently presenting to the Insight attendees on why security intelligence has become a big data challenge. The following are three key components of a successful information technology security strategy:


Intelligence is about using advanced security analytics and big data to gain deep insights into an organization’s security posture. Today, we need to go beyond logs, events and alerts. We need to apply security intelligence and big data analytics to more types of information, including email and social activity, full-packet and Domain Name System captures, business process data, external threat feeds such as IBM X-Force, malwae information, network flows and anomalies. Once we’ve applied these analytics to more data sources, we need new investigative tools such as Incident Forensics that can quickly and easily gather evidence, reconstruct potentially malicious activity, determine root cause and help prevent future recurrences.


The integration of individual security tools into comprehensive solutions is another approach that can help us stay ahead of the threat. Through the deployment of integrated solutions, we can optimize security investments by correlating and analyzing information that resides in silos, allowing for automated detection and responses to threats. This integration allows the latest information about exploits, vulnerabilities and malware to be accessed by security solutions across domains, providing greater threat protection.


Innovation means using new techniques to proactively implement and optimize security for the cloud, big data, social and mobile, allowing them to be deployed more rapidly and securely. Most importantly, these security measures should be embedded on Day 1, allowing mobile devices to be more secure than laptops, the cloud more secure than data centers, social more secure than email and big data more secure than databases.

To learn more on the above, please take the time to view my presentation.



More from Intelligence & Analytics

BlackCat (ALPHV) Ransomware Levels Up for Stealth, Speed and Exfiltration

9 min read - This blog was made possible through contributions from Kat Metrick, Kevin Henson, Agnes Ramos-Beauchamp, Thanassis Diogos, Diego Matos Martins and Joseph Spero. BlackCat ransomware, which was among the top ransomware families observed by IBM Security X-Force in 2022, according to the 2023 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, continues to wreak havoc across organizations globally this year. BlackCat (a.k.a. ALPHV) ransomware affiliates' more recent attacks include targeting organizations in the healthcare, government, education, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. Reportedly, several of these incidents resulted…

9 min read

Despite Tech Layoffs, Cybersecurity Positions are Hiring

4 min read - It’s easy to read today’s headlines and think that now isn’t the best time to look for a job in the tech industry. However, that’s not necessarily true. When you read deeper into the stories and numbers, cybersecurity positions are still very much in demand. Cybersecurity professionals are landing jobs every day, and IT professionals from other roles may be able to transfer their skills into cybersecurity relatively easily. As cybersecurity continues to remain a top business priority, organizations will…

4 min read

79% of Cyber Pros Make Decisions Without Threat Intelligence

4 min read - In a recent report, 79% of security pros say they make decisions without adversary insights “at least the majority of the time.” Why aren’t companies effectively leveraging threat intelligence? And does the C-Suite know this is going on? It’s not unusual for attackers to stay concealed within an organization’s computer systems for extended periods of time. And if their methods and behavioral patterns are unfamiliar, they can cause significant harm before the security team even realizes a breach has occurred.…

4 min read

Why People Skills Matter as Much as Industry Experience

4 min read - As the project manager at a large tech company, I always went to Jim when I needed help. While others on my team had more technical expertise, Jim was easy to work with. He explained technical concepts in a way anyone could understand and patiently answered my seemingly endless questions. We spent many hours collaborating and brainstorming ideas about product features as well as new processes for the team. But Jim was especially valuable when I needed help with other…

4 min read