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December 2013 Vol. 15 / No. 10

Analytics and the insider threat: Privileged users and patterns of deception

Marketing folks have long identified the promise of big data and analytics, looking for competitive advantages and insights into customer behaviors. Internet users help build these metrics by "liking" this or that, or unknowingly indicating preferences through their daily Web activities. Similar metrics surround those of us in the information technology profession: This data can be mined to help protect our companies. The methodology of using the metaphorical electronic battering ram to break through a company's hard exterior is gone, but not forgotten. Most security teams now understand how to protect against these attacks. Security professionals are even getting more talented in spotting those pesky advanced persistent threats (APTs) that parachute into our companies and open up the unwanted outbound conduit. When APTs execute and communicate back to the command center, those actions take on the same characteristics as insider threats. Today's security organizations collect logs, use security information and event management (...

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