The Role of Network Security Analytics

Security analytics leverage principles of big data to improve security — both physical security and network security.

In a recent article, we wrote about how enterprises use network analytics tools to improve their network performance and enable leaders to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

As a refresher, network analytics is the process of leveraging the principles of big data to gather and analyze network data. Through this process, IT teams can make forecasts that promise to improve network performance and reliability. But not all network analytics are strictly about network health and performance — the same process can be used to improve security. Enter network security analytics.

Security analytics is an emerging cybersecurity practice that uses data analysis to create better security measures. With security analytics, enterprises and SMBs will be better equipped to aggregate and utilize valuable data to improve the detection of security threats. In this article, we’ll cover the growing demand for security analytics, some of its key benefits, and discuss a few useful tools your enterprise can start using today.

The Growing Demand for Security Analytics

Security analytics is a rapidly growing industry. Industry onlookers predict that the security analytics market will exceed $7 billion by the end of next year, which would mark a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 28 percent since 2015.

This steady market growth is not surprising — because security analytics is still a relatively new security solution for most businesses, it remains chock-full of potential benefits. Here are some of the biggest value-adds so far:

  • Improved Threat Detection: Unlike traditional security systems, security analytics solutions help IT teams detect threats by tracking unusual patterns in network activity. By monitoring suspicious behavior rather than solely reacting to attacks after the fact, security analytics offers a proactive defense system.
  • Better Network Understanding: Security analytics solutions organize data by pairing real-time metrics with historic data from critical events. This enables IT teams to have a better understanding of their valuable assets and what needs to be done to secure them.
  • Strong Return on Investment: In order for IT teams to showcase their effectiveness to upper-level management and stakeholders, they must be able to share objective metrics that highlight the results of their efforts. Security analytics can offer teams time-to-resolution metrics to prove that their work is paying off.

These three benefits demonstrate that security analytics can be a very advantageous endeavor for enterprises. However, once you’ve decided to implement a security analytics practice within your organization, there are still a number of different types of security analytics solutions. To decide what might work best for you, it’s important to take a look at some of the most popular use cases that exist in the enterprise today.

Physical Security Analytics

Not all IT security exists on networks and servers — sometimes you have to protect assets in the real world, which means you have to take physical security measures. Physical security is all about protecting employees, resources, and data from physical actions that could result in loss or damage. This includes protection from malicious actors like burglars and terrorists, as well as natural disasters like fires and floods. A perfect example of physical security analytics is smart cameras and video analysis.

Up until recently, video surveillance systems were relatively archaic compared to the advances made in cybersecurity. Not only did most CCTV systems lack the ability to analyze footage of an incident, many cameras didn’t even have the capabilities to record high-definition footage that could prompt human analysis.

With the emergence of video surveillance analytics, all of this is changing. Artificial intelligence (AI) driven by machine learning can help enterprises overcome limitations by utilizing special software to analyze footage and detect anomalies in real time. With functions like advanced facial recognition, motion analysis, and geo-fencing, physical security systems can now leverage data in incredibly effective ways. Not only will this save your security team countless hours spent manually sifting through video footage, it will also recognize patterns of behavior to help prevent criminal acts from occurring in the first place.

Artificial Intelligence and Forensics

Network forensics is the process of monitoring and analyzing network traffic so IT teams can collect valuable evidence or data relating to intrusion detection. Network forensics usually comes into play after a cybercrime such as a malware attack and involves the investigation of all the traffic going across the suspected network of origin. Unlike other facets of digital forensics, network forensics specifically deals with volatile data, which makes it a complex section of security analytics.

Increasingly, IT teams are using AI-powered tools to support the automation of processes around specific investigations — with the hope that they can more quickly flag suspicious content or highlight details that would take human investigators much longer to discover. For example, network forensics can help fill in the network activity gaps to help storyboard and establish timelines around events. To do so, AI offers a way to more efficiently search for data that indicates signs of human communication or file manipulation that might offer clues.

The TTI Solution

Experts say that one of the biggest issues facing security analytics today is that there’s simply not enough IT talent to help bring security analytics into daily workflows at the enterprise level. With today’s IT skills shortage, hiring employees with the relevant skill sets is harder than ever. To achieve strong network security analytics, consider a partner like Turn-key Technologies, Inc. (TTI) to help you implement cutting-edge security solutions.

With nearly thirty years of both network and physical security experience, the experts at TTI can help your business keep its assets secure. With a robust list of smart physical security solutions — including best-selling products like the Avigilon smart camera line — we’re prepared to work with your organization to find and install a security analytics solution that works for you.

By Craig Badrick

January 6, 2020

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