On Nov. 15, 2017, i2 users from around the U.K. came together in London for the third annual i2 Community Event. The event gave users a unique opportunity to speak to i2 experts, learn about new developments and compare experiences with other users in their industry. As the first Community Event since i2 moved into IBM’s Security business, this year’s meetup had a fresh security spin, with partner speakers and an introduction to threat hunting as a use case.

The day kicked off with a welcome from Julian Meyrick, vice president of IBM Security Europe, who spoke about his firsthand experience using i2 as an officer in the army. Meyrick also noted that i2 is now backed by a wide range of supporting products as part of IBM Security’s portfolio.

He was followed by Julian Midwinter, i2’s European business unit executive, who unveiled the current i2 road map and discussed upcoming developments and new features of which many users were not yet aware.

Choose Your Track

Following these opening remarks, attendees had a chance to choose their track for the day. For more traditional analysts, there was an intelligence track that trained participants to leverage open source intelligence and discussed what it can (and can’t) do for your organization. Next up here was a compelling talk by Edwin Metgod of DataExpert about a customer using i2, Cognos and predictive modeling through SPSS to achieve some great results. Finally, the i2 technical team gave a practical demonstration, uncovering hidden insights using i2 for advanced call data record analysis.

For analysts, there was a threat hunting track, which started with some thought-provoking stories from Intel 471 CEO Mark Arena about taking an actor-centric approach to threat hunting. This was followed by a practical proxy beaconing demonstration. Finally, the track wrapped up with an enlightening talk on GDPR and how i2 can help customers stay ahead of the new requirements.

Three Key Takeaways From the i2 Community Event in London

Overall, it was a varied and topical agenda with some lively discussions and debates. Below are some of the key things we learned during this year’s i2 Community Event.

1. Know Your Enemy

The Intel 471 presentation offered some fascinating insights into cyber threat hunting, an area that is relatively new to many companies. It taught us that while there is value in the reactive, incident-focused approach to cybersecurity, it is also crucial to know who is attacking you. Many organizations that don’t get as far as attribution could really benefit from knowing whether their attackers are state-sponsored, financially motivated or just attacking everyone, since this can dictate the appropriate response.

2. Machines Can Smell

Perhaps not something you’d expect to learn at a software event, but intriguing nonetheless. Rather than relying on random spot checks and complaints once environmental problems reach unacceptable levels, an environment agency in Europe is now using i2 and SPSS modelling alongside “e-noses,” which analyze the chemical makeup of odors found around the region, to be proactive in their checks.

3. GDPR Could Cost Companies Dearly

Under GDPR, failing to notify a breach when required to do so could result in a fine of up to 4% of your global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater. That’s an amount no company can afford to lose, but many are still working out what they should do about it. As notifiable breaches have to be reported within 72 hours, the new regulation will make having robust breach detection, investigation and internal reporting procedures in place critical. It was interesting to hear our clients’ thoughts on this new area and see the variation in how far companies are along their GDPR readiness journeys.

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