Big Data and the Enterprise CIO

On Monday, September 12, 2011, Crucial Point’s Bob Gourley met with cyber security industry leaders at the National Harbor Gaylord Convention Center near Washington D.C. during the HP Protect 2011 conference. This event brings together the most significant enterprise cybersecurity capabilities, including highly regarded capabilities like ArcSight and Netwitness and HP Fortify. The event is also an opportunity to hear from cyber security experts with proven past performance in providing security services.

Enterprise security is a discipline requiring deep familiarity with advanced data management constructs, including “Big Data” approaches. Bill Laberis, Senior Editorial Director of IDG Custom Solutions Group interviewed Bob on this topic.

Bill began the interview with a question that has been on a lot of people’s minds lately. What is Big Data? Bob’s response started with simple context: Big Data is the data you cannot adequately analyze with your current information architecture. There are more technical approaches to this discussion, but simply put we are all looking for ways to more rapidly analyze larger and larger quantities of information. This is especially true in security. Security professionals need the tools to run on top of their architecture to help them analyze the massive increase in security related data.

Bob noted that security professionals need to worry not only about protecting data from loss by physical means such a floods or hurricanes or fires by physically protecting and backing up the servers, but also by protecting from intrusions and manipulations of data. CTOs and CISOs need to work together in government and enterprise to help each other get the job done better.

When asked what tools can CIOs leverage against the problem Bob responded. CIOs need to be educated about the problem and how to deal with it.  There are several great resources including and Cloudera. Users and architects need to arm themselves with a body of knowledge and then run the analytical tools on top that can help them out. The greatest security solutions, capabilities like ArchSight, are built with Big Data capabilities as a foundation, which is one of the reasons they scale to serve security needs of all enterprises.

Bill then asked Bob what the vendor community was doing to help with this situation. Bob pointed out that many companies are looking to the examples of some of the large social media platforms that have figured out how to deal with very large amounts of real-time data. Facebook is one such example, with over 700 million users and growing, Facebook deals with a massive amount of instantaneously rendered information and does it well.  Hadoop is a part of their solution.  Twitter and LinkedIn are also great examples of dynamically rendered information being managed effectively. What enterprises need to do is look at how these companies have done it and ask them selves ‘How can these solutions help me?’

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