Date: 10/7/2018

Author: Pieter Snyman, Chief Data Scientist at Performanta

Over the last couple of weeks, the UK has seen a blistering heatwave that is set to continue and with a sudden change in climate, come other challenges. While there is plenty of water available, the peak in demand has left utility companies unable to treat the volumes needed in time. Even the fizzy drinks industry came under pressure, with CO2 supplies running in short supply and having to be imported. In South Africa, the recent cold temperatures are putting pressure on the power grid, as electricity demand increases, blackouts become likely due to ageing infrastructure. A change in weather in Queensland, Australia caused a ‘melting road’ with cars being damaged as tyres became coated with tar.

These are just small examples of how unplanned events can have a big knock-on effect. We can all predict the change in season, but we can never fully know what extremities will arise from it. The same can be said for cyber security.

In our recent ‘Build IT, Buy IT, Rent IT’ blog, we talked about the options organisations have when dealing with their security. The truth is, without a back-up plan, a simple unexpected change can leave you exposed. When this inevitability happens, the disruption to business continuity adds further pressure to an already burdened security team. Something’s got to give.

We want to see a world where cyber security changes to enterprise-class cyber safety. Why? Because we simply can’t continue doing what we’re doing and expecting different results. It’s time for transformation. When you’re safe, you’ve done everything you can to retain your business continuity. It shows a level of security maturity that enables you to be fully remediated against the impact of unforeseen security curveballs. It means that the energy you’re spending day-to-day isn’t on just catching up; it affords you the ability to innovate and evolve.

We believe organisations do not even have the time to reflect back on lessons learnt and understand why the incident happened and put precautions in place for the future unless the impact has had a direct correlation to the profit and loss or shareholder value.

Just like the weather forecasters are able to see patterns emerging, security needs to react to behaviours to be better prepared for the future. Data Science plays a vital part in this. To be truly predictive, the system you are trying to predict needs to be relatively stable and have recurring patterns. The changes in climate is forcing weather prediction to be more agile. The same can be said of cyber security where the changes are because it is a system under constant attack.

While we’re still looking at predictive data (based on a historical viewpoint that maps what is a likely cause and effect) and prescriptive data (mapping out what to do when something happens), there’s a new phrase in town that, I believe, holds the key to faster reaction times. Pre-cognitive data will allow us to get a real view of what the near future truly holds.

Pre-cognition is a notion we are interested in because it may allow us to react far quicker as soon as the first signs of danger is detectable. The difference is that the visibility is created by machine learning and practically also only discernible by a machine. Our ability to react is therefore at machine speed instead of human speed. The most dangerous cyber threats are the ones that find a way to avoid detection until some compromise is detected. We want to be able to detect these early warnings quickly and react pre-cognitively on behalf of all our clients.

Consider working with a trusted managed security services organisation that can take some of the strain and increase your reaction speed, scaling up when required. Most importantly, they can help you stay one step ahead, keeping on top of your own unique security and compliance challenges.

Whatever we’re doing, it’s time we learn to make the secure choice the default choice, so we’re always prepared - whatever the weather.

To find out more about how Performanta can help your business, get in touch.