Analyzing Big Data

Vendors are finally releasing security products that can take advantage of the trillions of bytes of information we generate

Structured data includes alerts from security devices, operating system logs, DNS transactions and network flows, while unstructured data could be email, social media interactions, full packet information or business transactions. In their announcement, IBM specifically mentioned the vulnerabilities due to inside threats.


Security and Crime Event Correlation

The same types of analysis techniques that are inherent in products like RSA’s and IBM’s can be used to provide insight into patterns of crime and potential physical security vulnerabilities.

In law enforcement, efforts such as predictive

policing and intelligence-led policing (ILP) have evolved, based on methodologies for assembling data from disparate sources and tools such as GIS, applying analysis, and using the results to guide decision making. In moving from a reactive mode to proactive, the hope is effective anticipation, leading to the prevention or response to predicted crime. As these techniques become more refined and proven effective, the increasingly limited dollars available for public safety can be better targeted, including risk-based deployment of resources.

There appears to be no shortage of data or statistics, but, until now, these predictive efforts have been limited by available analysis techniques, hindering law enforcement’s ability to interpret and use the data. It is easy to see how big data analytics will also be a major tool in fighting fraud, credit card theft and identity theft. This will no doubt encompass access control data, both physical and network and ultimately affect the way Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) systems are implemented.

To sum it up, we’re on the threshold of something BIG.


Ray Coulombe is Founder and Managing Director of, enabling interaction with specifiers in the physical security and ITS markets; and Principal Consultant for Gilwell Technology Services. Ray can be reached at, through LinkedIn at or followed on Twitter @RayCoulombe.