In the next few years we will see the emergence of exponential technologies that, when implemented in unison, will greatly improve cyber security. One example that is relevant for CIOs is the joining of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to help executives visualize cyber intelligence information to improve decision-making and better target IT investments.
Big Data offers enormous opportunity, but there are two core issues that need to be addressed. One problem with Big Data is that often we do not know how to interpret the data. When we do, it usually gets passed from expert to executive in a way that does not necessarily provide a better understanding of the information, or how it can be applied to the problem at hand.
The second issue is that often we do not know how to best interact with the data that we are interpreting. The days of 100-page data summaries are nearing an end. We now need effective and streamlined solutions to limit these inefficiencies.
Why is visualization so vital?
Visualization is a tool that simplifies complicated information through the use of well designed graphic displays that allow large amounts of data to be viewed at once. Infographics have become popular because they allow us to comprehend visual data much more rapidly than any other sensory data. In fact, in his TED talk “The Beauty of Data Visualization,” David McCandless notes that we can process visual data about ten times faster than kinaesthetic (touch) data and one hundred times faster than olfactory (smell) data.
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As applied to the IT environment, heavy data sets that may have contained a million data points would have been analysed by taking a much smaller sample. Unfortunately, this reductionist approach meant that a lot of important information was left out.
Visualization streamlines this process by creating a summary of the entire data set, entering a manageable number of findings on a screen, and allowing humans to assess these findings individually and track back any interesting points to the original data set.
When it comes to visualization, a common issue many cyber security experts face is dealing with either designers who have little background in security, or security professionals who are not proficient in visually displaying information in an appealing or well designed manner. Artificial intelligence, however, may be able to bridge this gap.
How can Artificial Intelligence help?
Traditionally, data analysis and statistical modelling was done by analysts who spent hours ‘cleaning up’ the data, eliminating outliers, and producing confidence intervals. Artificial Intelligence can do all this at a much faster pace and learn to self-correct errors as it evolves. This ability – known as deep learning – means the technology continues to become more and more effective over time as it culls through more data.
The benefit of Artificial Intelligence is that it can create fluid and dynamic informative graphics that can add and subtract variables, making the data relevant to particular audiences. For example, imagine your firm is running a board meeting and executives are presented with a bar graph that tracks internal breaches over the past year. At first glance the information may not reveal any trends. However, one executive then requests the same information over just the past six months and that it be presented as a DOT graph. At this point an obvious pattern would be revealed to the group.
Another benefit of Artificial Intelligence is it can also identify outliers and create visualizations that do not include them, so executives or specialists do not have to spend hours sifting through mounds of unnecessary data. This process also has the effect of reducing the influence of human bias that often comes into play when we get too attached to outliers in data sets.
Visualization makes life easier for decision makers
By marrying Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in a way that best conveys information to us – visually – we can increase our ability to comprehend information quickly, more readily recognize relationships and patterns, and identify emerging trends.
Capitalizing on the innovative benefits of Artificial Intelligence is particularly important in the cyber security realm, where decision makers are often under a lot of time pressure. Next time you are preparing for a conversation with the CEO, or the Board Members of your organization, remember: visualization is an often underappreciated way to effectively communicate cyber security information, but Artificial Intelligence and Big Data have the ability to make this task simpler.
Ready to explore visualization of cyber intelligence information to zero in on trends, improve decision-making, and better target your IT investments? Contact RedZone today: 410-897-9494 | firstname.lastname@example.org