For federal, state and local government organizations, cybersecurity is a growing concern. High-profile hacks and breaches of government data are on the rise, indicating a need for stronger defenses and better education when it comes to keeping their data safe. For instance, at the beginning of June, the Social Security numbers and other confidential information was stolen from the Office of Personnel Management. According to The New York Times, 21.5 million federal employees were affected by the hack, making it the largest cyberattack into internal federal systems.
Federal Times contributor Kevin Davis stressed the need for government agencies to continue to use big data to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts. However, agencies are slow to capitalize on the benefits of using big data in this manner due to lack of resources or information, and this is leading to organizations only having a limited view of their departments.
“Agencies can greatly improve their analytics strategy with greater visibility into their entire infrastructure, eliminating complexities caused by multiple solutions, decreasing costs and providing agencies with a more holistic view of their networks,” Davis wrote. “Scalability is very important as networks expand and the number of devices with access increases. Larger networks and more devices means more data to analyze, but it also means increased risk.”
What can big data do?
Government big data offers organizations a way to augment their cybersecurity. By analyzing the data and parsing out where agencies can be better prepared against attack, organization leaders can put security strategies in place that best suit their individual needs. Enterprise visibility basically provides insight that managers can use to identify areas in need of improvement – it’s the question of analytics that’s the issue. Government organizations need to invest more in big data analytics in order to take full advantage of the information garnered by all their devices.
Big data can help minimize the kinds of attacks like the one experienced by the OPM. Forbes contributor Kurt Marko reported that security systems are only as strong as the information they receive – they have to become adaptable depending on contextual and situational awareness. Secure, adaptable systems can detect malware or sense an attack and then share this data with a big data repository that disseminates the information to other devices. No matter how the data is being collected, it’s the careful analysis and implementation of solutions that helps increase cybersecurity for government agencies.