"Autonomy gives meaning to data. It can find out what people are saying, whether positive or negative things, online," says Kohli. "It could collect data that someone is going to launch an attack on my bank, for instance."
Autonomy, acquired by HP for $10.3 billion in late 2011, is said to have about 20,000 customers, and they would be the first likely participants to try out HP's Big Data Security approach. Kohli acknowledges that what's being tested today probably just "scratches the surface" in terms of the potential down the road. IBM and RSA, which recently introduced their own Big Data Security strategies, also admit it's early in the game.
One of the main questions, of course, is whether IT security professionals and data managers will show the level of interest and engagement needed to pursue what is still an emerging technology in mining "big data" for the purposes of security.
According to a survey published today of 706 IT and IT security practitioners in financial services, manufacturing and government asked about "big data analytics in cyber defense," 56% said they were aware of some of it and 61% thought it could be used to solve "pressing security issues." 35% said their organizations used some type of data analytics already to detect anomalous and potentially malicious traffic from entering their networks.
The "Big Data Analytics and Cyber Defense" survey, sponsored by Teradata and conducted by Ponemon Institute, indicated financial services industry had a higher level of interest and awareness about the potential than manufacturing or government.
Many said they'd like to see big data analytics used for security by combining knowledge gained through anti-malware, anti-DDoS, SIEM, content-aware firewalls, intrusion-prevention systems, Web applications firewalls and more. However, IT and security managers may have a big struggle ahead to convince upper management and others it's worth it. The survey notes, "there is a significant difference in how the value is perceived by others in the organization. Less than half (47%) of respondents believe their organization considers big data analytics in cyber defense as very important."
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: email@example.com.
Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.