Identifying Undetected Breaches

How Data Scientists Analyze Big Data to Spot Vulnerabilities
Eighty-five percent of data breaches go undetected, but organizations have a new type of cop on the beat to ferret out these illicit activities - the data scientist, says Phil Neray, head of security intelligence strategy and marketing for Q1 Labs, an IBM company.

"The problem most organizations have is that they even don't know they've been breached," Neray says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "They only find out through some third party [such as] a consumer whose credit card has been used in a fraudulent way."

Today, with massive amounts of data flowing through an organization's computers, data scientists can analyze that information to expose undetected breaches and other threats and vulnerabilities. Data scientists take all that information - including data found in logs, network traffic reports and transactions - and employ analytics to correlate the information and identify patterns to disclose breaches to be investigated and vulnerabilities to be plugged, Neray says.

In the interview, Neray:

  • Delineates the skills of data scientists;
  • Defines their responsibilities;
  • Explains the evolution of the occupation.

Neray was a vice president at Guardium when IBM bought the database security provider in 2009. Earlier in his career, he served as a senior director at security provider Symantec. He started his career as a field operations engineer with Schlumberger working on remote oil rigs in South America. Neray has worked in a variety of fields, including database security; security patch and configuration management; 3D animation and special effects; and parallel supercomputing.

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