In the wake of several high profile cyber attacks in the USA including infidelity website Ashley Madison and Sony Film Studios, the latest security breach on British broadband provider TalkTalk which could lead to the theft of private data from more than 4 million customers, only serves to highlight the vulnerability of our ever increasing digital connected world.  When you consider the average cost of a cyber attack to a large organisation is £1.46 million, it would seem that the path to a more secure future is not to reverse engineer a cyber attack but rather to predict it.   

Attackers spend a pittance when you compare that to the billions that is spent on digital security and the innumerable hours spent investigating and remediating security breaches.  Surely the better approach to detection is to use the deluge of data available to predict the next attacker based on their similarity to already known malware?

Predictive security enables businesses to take the power of their physical security data beyond the traditional reporting and use it to predict security operations and possible security risks.  In other words, it’s about gathering the data and then trying to connect them.  The average attack won’t occur in an instant, they take place using processes that occur over a period of time.

Predictive security models require machine intelligence to identify exceedingly complex correlations and risk signals that humans cannot possibly identify at scale. Ultimately you are exploiting and maximising the data to protect the data.

Given the state of today’s security systems, and this ever growing list of damaging breaches, it would appear that many organisations are still a long way from using these types of advanced technologies for security management.

Today, the detection systems used by most IT departments excel only at identifying the bank robber who has already opened the safe.  Cyber attacks are only going to be more commonplace so why not use the deluge of data available to us to predict the next bank robber before he robs the bank? If you don’t apply what you have learnt from the past, then history has an unfortunate habit of repeating itself.