Faster Searches, Less Space With QRadar Security Intelligence

May 31, 2016 @ 10:16 AM
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2 min read

Not too many years ago, my boys were big into building animal figures, houses, spaceships and more using little plastic blocks that came in every shape and color. Each set came with multiple bags of bricks and an instruction booklet. The challenge, as with security intelligence, was in finding the right piece (of plastic or data) to complete the puzzle. Leaving all the pieces compressed in the bags helped reduce the amount of table space required, but resulted in far longer search times looking for any specific part.

An Unwilling Compromise

A short time ago, QRadar Security Intelligence Platform users were making similar trade-offs between search speeds and data compression capabilities to store as much hot and cool data as possible within event, flow and packet capture appliances. Searches on uncompressed data were faster, of course, but the more uncompressed data one allowed, the fewer months of compressed data could be locally held. This made it harder to perform long-term threat and attack analysis without recalling data from an archive.

The solution I discovered for helping my boys build their figures with a minimum amount of frustration was to use our bonus room floor and sort all the pieces by shape, size and color. This would usually take no more than 6 square feet for some larger sets, but it led to a tenfold reduction in the amount of time required to find a specific piece. All it required was a little help to create a scheme — which was far better than hearing about how they couldn’t find something every 15 minutes.

IBM Security discovered a solution in the latest QRadar release: It runs searches against compressed data, which also delivers a tenfold improvement when finding related data elements. Starting with version 7.2.7, customers will enjoy the benefits of both worlds: speed and long-term retention.

QRadar Provides a Solution

Our solution is doing this by completely revamping the way it stores data within QRadar. From now on, data will always be compressed.

The new algorithm does result in a slight data compression loss (5 to 10 percent) compared to version 7.2.6, but it avoids all the delays associated with decompression and recompression. Additionally, the search speeds in the new release are actually faster than those from the prior release working against uncompressed data.

There are many other great new security intelligence features packed into this latest release, including:

  • Optimized threat hunting;
  • Simplified intermodule data sharing;
  • Self-defined event viewing;
  • User-based policy monitoring;
  • Hardware optimizations and increases in global views;
  • Risk and vulnerability management scheduling improvements; and
  • Localized cloud data storage in Canada and Germany.

Keep an eye out for new capabilities coming from IBM Security and our partners via the IBM Security App Exchange. We’ve got some exciting content lined up over the summer.

To learn more and tour the award winning QRadar platform, watch this on-demand webinar.

Jay Bretzmann
WW Market Segment Manager, IBM Security

Jay Bretzmann currently directs product marketing activities for IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform offerings developing product messaging, marketing ...
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