Everyone wants data—especially the people who shouldn’t have it. Those of us who watch the big data industry closely know how much damage cyberattacks can cause to companies large and small.
When half of the United States’ personal information was compromised in the 2017 Equifax breach, every single American had to consider the possibility that they could be a victim of identity theft. Data breaches are not only a serious threat to businesses and consumers, they’re costly; each breach in the United States costs an average of $7.3 million.
Cybercrime is getting more sophisticated and more common, because data is one of the most valuable assets organizations hold digitally. So, how can we hold back the tide of cybercrime and data theft?
Cybersecurity has advanced, but it’s struggling to keep up with hackers’ new techniques. Now, one of the biggest players in the data game is leveraging its power with a new cybersecurity company.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, recently announced the launch of Chronicle, a dedicated cybersecurity company. The details are still somewhat hazy, but from what we know, it has potential to revolutionize cybersecurity as we know it.
Below are five key pieces of information about Chronicle that you should know.
1. It will make sense of massive amounts of cybersecurity data.
One of the most pressing challenges in the big data space is making sense of all the data coming in. The majority of it isn’t even used, leaving money on the table. For example, by some estimates, using big data effectively in the US healthcare system could create $300 billion in value. Unused data isn’t just a missed opportunity, however—it’s a vulnerability. The volume can get overwhelming and confusing, allowing security threats to fly under the radar. Thousands of security alerts can pop up every day in large enterprises, and security teams can’t possibly stay on top of all these alerts. Chronicle helps teams make sense of all this data, and reduces the manual monitoring companies have to do.
2. It will use machine learning to find patterns and anomalies.
Chronicle’s systems make use of advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning to address these vulnerabilities. Machine learning uses these massive, unstructured datasets to spot patterns humans can’t find, and make sense of what’s actually a threat—and what’s normal. Because cybercriminals are always refining their tactics, it’s hard for traditional cybersecurity systems to keep up. A learning system like Chronicle could be the answer to spotting new types of malware and halting the evolving tactics used by cybercriminals.
3. It will help find solutions for large institutions and key industries.
Both large and small companies are at risk for data breaches, but large companies and key industries are often major targets for attacks due to the sheer amount of valuable data they store. Healthcare organizations, for instance, are common targets. About 90% of healthcare organizations now use at least a basic form of EHRs (electronic health records), and healthcare data is some of the most sensitive data in existence. It’s crucial that we do a better job of protecting this information, to keep people safe and improve the care these institutions can offer. Chronicle’s focus is on large institutions like Fortune 500 companies, and the company is working to ensure scalability of its systems to protect key institutions.
4. It will streamline cybersecurity solutions to reduce vulnerability.
Security teams aren’t going to be eliminated with machine learning and artificial intelligence anytime soon, and that is not Chronicle’s aim. The goal is to make security teams more effective and streamline their operations. Using one system simplifies the process and allows teams to work where they’re most effective.
Chronicle’s CEO, Stephen Gillett, says, “We want to 10x the speed and impact of security teams’ work by making it much easier, faster and more cost-effective for them to capture and analyze security signals that have previously been too difficult and expensive to find.”
5. It will allow for faster reactions.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to stop all cyberattacks before they happened. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and like all crime, it’s impossible to prevent all cyberattacks. Breaches are going to happen, and the best we can do is to minimize their impact. Chronicle hopes to accomplish this by allowing companies to spot problems quickly and start taking action, controlling the damage and reducing the cost of a breach. Currently, some breaches aren’t discovered for months, and many go unreported. Chronicle’s machine-learning system should be more efficient at spotting threats as they occur than current systems, potentially spotting anomalies within minutes, or even seconds.
2018 will be a pivotal year for slowing the amount of cybercrime and getting a handle on hackers. Keep your eyes peeled for more about Chronicle’s upcoming endeavors in cybersecurity.
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