As IT security leaders try to base more of their day-to-day decisions on statistical analysis of relevant data coming from IT infrastructure and business processes, they’re running into a skills and resource gap. Often times security teams have lots of specialists with deep technical knowledge of attack techniques and trends, but they frequently lack the skills to aggregate and manipulate data in order to draw meaningful conclusions from statistical trends. As the speed and volume of security data continues to mount, so will that gap, which is why many within the industry believe that in the coming years an IT security team will not be complete without at least one data scientist among its ranks.
“In the past, it’s always been us who’s been behind the game, trying to catch up with the attackers’ techniques,” says Dan Mitchell, product manager of data sciences for RSA The Security Division of EMC. “I think data science gives us the opportunity to get ahead of the attackers and have them be behind for a change.”