HP harnesses big data to thwart enterprise security threats

Integrates ArcSight, Autonomy to uncover internal and external malefactors

HP (NYSE: HPQunveiled on Monday a number of products that employ big data to help enterprises uncover and confront security threats, both from insiders and external attacks.

"We are leveraging big data for security intelligence… [With HP tools] you start finding security threats that were there all the time, but since you did not have the right tools, you could not find them," Varun Kohli, director of product marketing at HP Enterprise Security Products, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

To enable enterprises to use big data, HP has integrated the security information and event management capabilities of ArcSight with Autonomy's content analytics engine.

The integrated product enables enterprises to track and analyze behavior patterns to uncover malicious insiders or external hackers.

"What the integration does is look at all of the big data on premise and in the cloud, as well as enterprise-related data that is on the Internet. We take all of this data, pass it through Autonomy, and create automated events that go to ArcSight, which correlates those events with everything that is happening in the enterprise. This gives you enhanced security for internal and external user monitoring," Kohli explained.

In addition, HP is integrating ArcSight with Apache's Hadoop in order to speed the process of sifting through big data to uncover security attacks, events and trends. The new offering links HP ArcSight's reporting, search and correlation capabilities with Hadoop's centralized big data storage repository, giving enterprises the storage capacity to handle petabytes of information. Then, open-source machine-learning algorithms, statistical analysis, anomaly detection and predictive analytics can be applied to the stored data, providing insight into security threats.

"We are also announcing a new tool that can send data from ArcSight to Hadoop and use Hadoop's processing power to do faster big data analysis for security intelligence," Kohli said. "We are taking analytics to the next level and providing you with real-time intelligence and protection that can leverage your existing big data and come up with security rules and prevent attacks in the future."

Autonomy has been a drain on HP financially. In its 2012 third quarter financial results, HP said it was taking an $8.8 billion "noncash impairment charge" related to Autonomy. The charge forced HP to report a staggering $6.9 billion net loss for the quarter.

HP accused Autonomy's management, particularly the firm's founder Mike Lynch, of using "accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company, prior to Autonomy's acquisition by HP." Lynch denies the charge and blames HP mismanagement for Autonomy's troubles.

HP continues to struggle financially. The company reported a 6 percent year-over-year drop in revenues to $28.4 billion and a 16 percent year-over-year decline in net earnings to $1.2 billion for its most recent quarter. Despite the decline, HP beat pessimistic Wall Street revenue estimates of $27.8 billion, according to The Motley Fool.

With Monday's announcement, it would seem HP is finally finding a use for Autonomy, the financial albatross around the computer maker's neck.

For more:
- check out HP's big data announcement
- see HP's financial results
- read The Motley Fool article

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