Don’t freak out, but as InformationWeek notes, your networks could be under attack as you read this. Large and small organizations and projects must protect themselves against increasingly sophisticated modes of cyber attack. Having already received numerous cyber security threats, Olympics officials are prepared to protect their digital and physical interests using big data analytics.
Larry Ponemon, president of the Ponemon Institute, an Internet think tank explains: “From the hacker’s perspective, this is the mother of all opportunities.” For example, he posits: “If you had the ability to turn off an event, or just turn off the lights, and make people feel uncomfortable or unsafe, that would make quite a powerful statement” Ponemon adds. Kaspersky researcher David Emm suggests hackers could compromise London Olympic Committee servers and publish their own information about the games or infiltrate computerized running timers and other Olympic logistical systems. The list of other potential cyber threats is vast.
Kevin Fogarty avers to the effectiveness of the Olympics’ safe-guard, its real-time situational-awareness system, which harnesses “security information and event management (SIEM) systems and log files from network servers, digital-door-lock scanners, firewalls, point-of-sale systems, and other computer-enhanced systems that would normally be neglected until long after the Games were over.”
Tech officials are acting pre-emptively, using big data analysis apps to scan through the tens of thousands of daily logs, closely monitoring physical and digital activity within the Olympic Village as well as spectators in close proximity. The logs are channeled to the SIEM system and big data analysis engines to present a thorough real time assessment of potentially suspicious activity, according to Chris Petersen, CTO and cofounder of log-analysis and SIEM vendor LogRhythm. Fogarty notes that the logs “could amount to petabytes of data by the end of the Games.” Petersen believes applying big data to forensic data search and analysis can give responders in Olympics security operations centers (SOC) early warnings for threats and ways to respond to them that previous staff couldn’t have managed.