Australian availability of cloud-based analytics services will drive even broader adoption of threat-intelligence tools as cloud services enable large-scale collection and targeted analysis of massive quantities of log and threat data, a local big-data expert has predicted.
More than 40 percent of the business of fast-growing analytics company Splunk is related to security analytics, ANZ country manager Daniel Miller told CSO Australia, but the availability of the company's cloud-based Splunk Cloud service – recently launched into the Australian market – had increased this further.
The company had been “pleasantly surprised” to find that fully half of the demand for its cloud service was related to security, Miller said. This was expected to increase as more businesses became aware of the potential for the services to speed their adoption of increasingly important threat intelligence capabilities.
“We have a lot of interesting use cases around business analytics, but security is a core part of the Splunk use case,” he explained, attributing the platform's appeal to its ability to process all manner of both structured and unstructured data.
“We are able to efficiently index and analyse this information, detect anomalies and outliers, and get breach detection down to a very short period of time. That really jump-starts a lot of the data modelling and analytics – and serves as a very effective aggregator of multiple security data sources.”
Splunk's ability to leverage the increasingly popular Hadoop open-source big data platform – and the scalability of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud on which the system is based – has driven strong growth in demand for the company's services, with revenues up 49 percent in its most recent fiscal year, in which the company welcomed more than 600 new customers.
Much of that growth is because the company has invested in developing specialised apps that help customers skip the traditionally time-consuming process of organising data and analytics frameworks. The dashboard-driven Splunk App for Enterprise Security, for example, breaks down collected data into dashboard views and provides additional features that would be impossible to achieve inhouse – such as correlating new domain registrations with Web activity to identify potentially problematic malware domains.
A recent Gartner analysis argued that analytics providers needed to specialise in order for “immature” analytics tools to become more relevant for particular businesses, with firms including Akamai and BT recently launching new security-analytics tools into the Australian market.
Flexibility of data collection and analysis is key to delivering on the promise threat intelligence, Miller believes. “People get caught up in this whole big-data analytics idea,” he explained, “but the value is not just that there's more data. It's the fact that it's changing all the time.”
“The thing you want to know will change and evolve,” he added, “and you need a platform that will evolve and scale to take in whatever will be relevant to you from a security perspective. For many people, that default position will probably be 'everything'.”
This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.