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Survey: Few Know What “Big Data” Is, Yet Many Are Concerned About It

LogLogic, a provider of SIEM and log management solutions, today released the findings of a study conducted in conjunction with research firm Echelon One on the topics of cloud and “Big Data”. Key in their discoveries is that many seasoned IT professionals have many misconceptions about big data and what it actually is.

LogLogic, a provider of SIEM and log management solutions, today released the findings of a study conducted in conjunction with research firm Echelon One on the topics of cloud and “Big Data”. Key in their discoveries is that many seasoned IT professionals have many misconceptions about big data and what it actually is.

In their findings, 38 percent of survey respondents acknowledged that they do not have a clear understanding of what big data is. For those who felt they had a grip on what big data was, 49 percent said they were somewhat or very concerned about managing big data.

LogLogic SurveyMoreover, 59 percent of respondents said they lack the tools required to effectively manage data from their IT systems, often resorting to using separate, disparate systems and even spreadsheets.

So, what is big data? “Big data is about many terabytes of unstructured data,” explains Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer of LogLogic. “Information is power, and big data if managed properly can provide a ton of insight to help deal with security, operational, and compliance issues.”

When asked how often they review and/or analyze their device and network logs, 47 percent of respondents said they only do so when auditors ask for it. 59 percent said they do so daily, and 30 percent monthly.

Big Data and The Cloud

In terms of the cloud, the survey found substantial gaps between theory and practice, with regard to preparation for, and management of, big data and cloud environments. Revealing a similar challenge in respondents’ understanding of managing their cloud environment, the results showed that 72 percent, said they lack the tools to manage data for their existing, and future cloud environments. When asked how concerned they are about managing log data for their cloud environment, 25 percent said they were “very” concerned, while 11 percent said they were not concerned at all.

Survey respondents also identified compliance, security and IT operational efficiency as three of the top four drivers for deploying a log management solution.

“The results show significant inconsistencies in practice. Namely, while big data, cloud needs and compliance requirements are clearly major concerns, the majority of companies are not prepared to deal with any of them adequately,” said Bob West, founder and CEO of Echelon One. “It’s fascinating to see the rift, and the overwhelming percentage of companies surveyed are not prepared to manage big data properly, monitor cloud environments effectively, or report network and device activities properly. These companies are leaving themselves exposed to attacks, making less-than-informed business decisions, and even risking fines from the federal regulatory agencies, for not complying with their requirements.”

“Organizations of every size are collecting more data from a variety of sources within the enterprise and the cloud infrastructures, and many organizations are not using the right tools and processes to manage these data,” Khera added. “If this pattern continues, we will see enterprises falling farther behind, unable to derive actionable insights, which can help organizations make intelligent decisions.”

The survey was conducted in January and February of this year, and evaluated 207 respondents comprised of security and IT operations professionals across a variety of industries at the director level or above. 62 percent of the respondents said they manage over one terabyte of data.

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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