Cybersecurity is the killer app for big data analytics

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Big data analytics tools will be the first line of defense to provide holistic and integrated security threat prediction, detection, and deterrence and prevention programs.

There's a rising tide for big data apps to help combat cyber-threats and attackers.

The big data and analytics market will reach $125 billion worldwide in 2015, according to research firm IDC.

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Big data analytics tools will be the first line of defense, combining machine learning, text mining and ontology modeling to provide holistic and integrated security threat prediction, detection, and deterrence and prevention programs, according to recent predictions by The International Institute of Analytics (IIA).

FBR Capital Markets predicts a 20% increase in “next-generation cybersecurity spending” in 2015, as companies move beyond traditional firewall and endpoint vendors to cloud and big data solutions.

About 10% of enterprises and government agencies have upgraded to next-generation security software, such as firewalls that detect and block threats at the application level, or big data analytics services geared toward security, said FBR Capital Markets Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Daniel Ives. “The market for those software tools could be $15 billion to $20 billion over the next three years” added Ives.

Who are the vendors cashing in on big data security analytics?

IBM on cybersecurity analytics

IBM calls itself the third biggest security software player in the world. Gartner has called it the largest security vendor selling exclusively to enterprises. IBM Security emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity analytics to its clients.

“IBM is ushering in an intelligence-driven era of security with our clients” says Brendan Hannigan, general manager at IBM Security. “With the rate, pace and sophistication of cyber-attacks continuing to grow exponentially, security has become a big data problem. Real-time analytics are required as the foundation of today’s security strategy. IBM partners with our clients across their C-Suite and Line of Business to develop integrated and comprehensive analytics-driven protection strategies," adds Hannigan.

Splunk for security and fraud

Splunk was one of the early movers in the big data security analytics space - and as a result it claims an impressive lineup of customers that utilize its software for security and fraud, including Adobe, Autodesk, Domino's Pizza, First Data, Nordstrom, SAIC, Yahoo!, and many others.

There's more than 200 security apps and add-ons developed by Splunk, its partners or community members to provide fast insights into many of the industry’s leading security technologies.

The lines between security analytics and other security sectors are starting to blur. Vendors with solutions around network and endpoint security, threat intelligence, malware, identity and authentication, and others, are feeding data into the analytics platforms. Blue Coat, Cisco, FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, Tanium, and others now offer Splunk Apps.

Investment activity

The VCs are in the big data analytics game, and here's some of their recent deal flow:

Sqrrl, a provider of big data analytics for identifying and responding to cyber threats, raised $7 million in Series B, led by Rally Ventures, joined by Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners. The company also unveiled new software aimed at detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats. Total funding to date is now $14.2 million.

Endgame, a developer of security intelligence and analytics tools, raised $30 million in a third round. The round was co-led by new investors Edgemore Capital and Top Tier Capital Partners. Previous backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Paladin Capital Group, Columbia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated in addition to Savano Capital Partners.

DB Networks, a provider of cybersecurity that leverages machine learning and behavioral analysis, raised $17 million in new VC funding. The round was led by Grotech Ventures and joined by Khosla Ventures and Citi Ventures.

Rapid7, a provider of security analytics software and services, closed $30 million in funding from Bain Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures. Rapid7 has chosen Morgan Stanley and Barclays to assist with an initial public offering, according to Reuters.

New entrants

Expect to see a bigger splash from pure-play big data and business intelligence vendors as the cybersecurity analytics market grows.

Hortonworks, an open-source platform for storing and analyzing big data, raised $100 million in its IPO with an initial market cap of $666 million. Sqrrl and Hortonworks are jointly going to market to provide a secure Big Data platform built on the capabilities of their complementary technologies. 

The most notable new market entrant is SAS Institute. The $3 billion market leading business analytics software company recently announced its SAS Cybersecurity platform.

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