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How CI Tightens Enterprise Data Security

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With data security becoming ever-more challenging, continuous intelligence can offer hope to the enterprise.

The importance of a strong data security strategy is pretty clear. Even little “Mom and Pop” businesses worry about hackers stealing personal information, planting ransomware, and launching denial of service attacks. For the enterprise, the job of the CISO and their team keeps getting tougher, particularly since the pandemic changed everything.

Take the case of the Texas health and human services agency. Prior to the pandemic that department saw 90 million attack attempts per year. Since Covid-19 hit the attacks have increased five times over to 532 million attacks in a year. Meanwhile, CISOs across industries are relying on outdated, report-based threat intelligence.

Security challenges have outpaced the ability for humans and yesterday’s security tools to deal with them. The old idea of human staff chasing down every alert generated by security software doesn’t scale in the face of a million attacks per day. Plus, experts estimate that up to half of all alerts are based on false positives. So, blocking everything isn’t feasible.

A scary new world

In addition, today’s reality for the evolving enterprise is that cloud computing and third-party apps are core concepts. That means massive amounts of data are stored or created outside of the legacy on-premise systems. Then factor in how a growing number of employees are working from home.

All of this highlights the need for context in security systems. Those systems need to learn what is “normal” in operations to weed out the false positives. A security strategy also requires a multi-faceted understanding of how new threat signatures and vulnerabilities are emerging. The systems then must balance risk factors so staff can act on the attacks that are most likely to damage the business.

Complicating everything is the fact that security strategies require real-time monitoring and proactive responses to threats. A next-day report just won’t cut it in a 24×7 work environment where data changes by the second.

CI-enabled data security

That’s where continuous intelligence (CI) can play a key role in a cybersecurity strategy. Think of CI as the ability for security tools to constantly learn what is going on within enterprise systems and which threats require immediate action.

CI is a capability built into a CI platform or paired with an existing application, such as security software or financial applications. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, CI can learn to recognize what data or usage patterns are normal and what may be signs of an attack.

While many enterprise security teams are reluctant to implement new technologies and are still in the “lock down everything” mindset, the changing nature of enterprise computing may require a fresh approach to security. With enterprises relying so heavily on third-party apps, cloud, work from home and partnerships, security teams have to trust that data sitting outside the physical environment. They need tools that can separate the bad activity from the good.

CI is designed to operate within a modernized architecture, living in the cloud and working in real time to identify problems and recommend solutions. CI for data security shapes up as a must-have for today and the future.

James Connolly

About James Connolly

James Connolly is a technology journalist with deep experience as a reporter, writer, and editor. He formerly was lead editor with Informa/UBM's InformationWeek, Network Computing, and All Analytics media sites. He has more than 30 years experience in tech publishing, including work with Computerworld, TechTarget, and MassHighTech. He has covered a wide variety of information technology sectors with a focus on how enterprise organizations implement and derive benefits from tech. He is a former news reporter for the Boston Herald.

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