No one can deny that Big Data has changed the way we think about, store, secure and process information. At the very least, it's one of the most salient and disruptive trends that has emerged in the last few years. And it's not going away any time soon, likely spurring long-lasting changes to the IT environment for years to come.
That fact has been reaffirmed in a new brief by RSA, the security division of EMC, which maintains that Big Data is expected to alter almost every discipline in information security dramatically and be the driving force behind sweeping changes throughout the industry. It's a trend that will fuel intelligence-oriented security models down the road.
Eddie Schwartz, chief information security officer at RSA, said: "In the coming year, top-tier enterprises with progressive security capabilities will adopt intelligence-driven security models based on Big Data analytics. Over the next two to three years, this security model will become a way of life."
And that means the channel should start refreshing security portfolios with a Big Data focus and rev solutions that harness intelligence garnered from massive quantities of data.
Many of those changes are well underway. RSA projects that organisations will regularly deploy and release off-the-shelf Big Data offerings that support their security endeavours over the coming year.
The trend comes as a sharp contrast to past deployments, in which Big Data analytics tools were custom-built to be deployed in SOCs. However, 2013 will likely usher in a trend of commercialised Big Data offerings that will ultimately make the technology more intuitive and accessible for more users.
Inevitably, over time, Big Data also will change the nature of conventional security conventions, such as anti-malware, data loss prevention and firewalls.
Three to five years down the road, data analytics tools will likely evolve to enable greater advanced predictive capabilities and automated controls. This promises to expand threat analytics and intelligence markets further, RSA predicts.
The trends illuminated by RSA have multiple implications. For one, the growing fervour around Big Data indicates a wide open channel playing field, probably in ways that have yet to be revealed. Those looming trends will likely galvanise a critical mass of partners to incorporate intelligence-based technologies and threat analytics in their product portfolios.
Conversely, this signals a gradual shift away from conventional security mechanisms, such as standard perimeter offerings and static controls that require predetermined knowledge of threats. This could potentially leave more traditional VARs behind the market curve.
Going forward, RSA recommends a series of guidelines designed to help organisations start implementing intelligence-based security programme as part of an overriding Big Data strategy, which include setting a comprehensive cyber-security policy that takes into account all risks, threats and requirements relevant to the organisation.
RSA also suggests establishing shared data architecture, and migrating away from point products to that unified security architecture, as well as increasingly on-boarding open and scaleable Big Data tools, bolstering the data science expertise of security teams and using external threat intelligence.
The brief suggests a pattern for partners to follow, who can start ramping up security intelligence portfolios with services that help customers get the ball rolling on Big Data strategies and policies in the year ahead.
It's clear that RSA is laying the groundwork for further investment in Big Data and security intelligence space. Over the last six months, the Massachusetts-based identity and access management firm has launched services around rogue mobile apps and advanced threat monitoring as well as an "adaptive" authentication with threat analytics and intelligence.
The firm has also sent a steady stream of content to Big Data knowledge bases when it comes to SIEM while forming crucial security alliances with industry peers Intel and AMD. An anti-fraud centre is aimed at expanding the firm's growing security services prowess.
The latest report represents another brick in the wall clearly indicating to its channel its intention to remain a major player in this market. RSA will probably cement itself into the rapidly growing intelligence market with a spate of related solutions and services in the not-too-distant future.
Stefanie Hoffman is US West Coast editor and senior associate at Channelnomics
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