SOURCE: Government Business Council

Government Business Council

October 23, 2014 08:00 ET

New Study Reveals Data Infrastructure May Not Be Advanced Enough for Cyber Analytics Needs

High-Performance Storage Technologies Can Help Agencies Manage the Volume, Velocity, and Variety of Information Generated

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 23, 2014) - Big data analytics plays an important role in DoD's cybersecurity strategy, but the Department may be behind on the data infrastructure needed to fully take advantage of its capabilities, according to a new study published by Government Business Council (GBC) and NetApp.

In the September survey of senior defense leaders, 79 percent of respondents agree that big data analytics are an effective tool for monitoring government networks for cyber threats, while 75 percent say big data analytics play an important role in their agencies' strategies. In particular, big data is being used to detect unauthorized hardware and software, discover and fix known vulnerabilities, and identify hardware and software misconfigurations.

"The evolving nature of the threats federal and defense agencies encounter on a daily basis -- everything from malware to vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and Shellshock -- is undoubtedly the driver behind adopting a cyber strategy based on big data analytics," said Zoe Grotophorst, Manager of Research & Strategic Insights with Government Business Council. "It's encouraging to see how much progress DoD has made, but it's important to keep in mind the challenges that still need to be addressed before big data reaches its full potential as a cyber defense tool."

In particular, the survey reveals slow progress implementing high-performance storage technologies required to sift through the enormous volume, velocity, and variety of data generated in defense agencies.

"Too often with big data and cyber analytics, storage is overlooked. However, storage intelligence, management, and efficiencies are key to enhancing big data analytics value," said Mark Bubb, Director, Systems Engineering, NetApp U.S. Public Sector. "These tools give agencies more control over their most important asset- their data- allowing them to conduct analysis into data-related findings from cyber security threat analysis to advances in fraud detection."

Key findings of the study include:

  • Over 80 percent of DoD respondents indicate that their agency has achieved a moderate to high state of readiness in four key capabilities: detecting unauthorized hardware, detecting unauthorized software, discovering and fixing known network vulnerabilities, and discovering hardware and software misconfiguration.
  • Respondents believe many of the barriers to fully utilizing big data analytics are non-technical: one-third say that budget constraints and a lack of trained personnel with big data experience remain major challenges.
  • About seven in ten respondents support DoD's decision to adopt a common continuous diagnostics & mitigation (CDM) framework with civilian agencies in order to facilitate interagency coordination.

The GBC report, "Ready for Cyber Analytics?" assesses the perceptions, attitudes, and experience of senior defense employees in the four military service branches, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and numerous other defense agencies regarding the use of big data analytics and continuous monitoring. The study is based on survey data collected from 155 officials from the GS/GM grade levels 11 through 15 and the Senior Executive Service.

To view the complete report and the accompanying infographic, visit GBC at

About Government Business Council
Government Business Council (GBC), the research arm of Government Executive Media Group, is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis and insight. GBC partners with industry to share best practices with top government decision-makers, understanding the deep value inherent in industry's experience engaging and supporting federal agencies.

About NetApp
NetApp creates innovative products - storage systems that help customers around the world store, manage, protect, and retain one of their most precious assets: their data. NetApp is currently the #1 storage provider to the U.S. Government. Discover our passion for helping organizations go further, faster at

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