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EMC to acquire big data analytics firm Silver Tail Systems

“The industry is well beyond the point of providing effective security using static, perimeter point tools that fail to keep up with dynamic cyber attackers. Customers need better intelligence, analytics, and the ability to respond in real time,” explains Art Coviello, the RSA executive chairman and executive vice president, EMC Corporation.

The problem, adds Tim Eades, CEO at Silver Tail Systems, is “the pace of innovation in the cybercriminal ecosystem, the convergence of the fraud and info-security attack techniques.” And the solution is increasingly considered to be big data analytics – the algorithmic analysis of everything currently happening in order to detect the anomalies in behavior that might indicate a developing threat – as it happens.

The argument for this acquisition is discussed by Sam Curry, Chief Technologist for RSA, in a separate but clearly related blog posting: Security and Big Data: a match made in Heaven. “At the heart of security these days is an overwhelming quantity of data,” he writes. This is traditionally seen as a problem – what to do with all of this data? It is, he suggests, “more accurately a ‘Big Data opportunity’ than a problem.” That opportunity “happens when you get the mathematicians to find patterns in data and then true that up with the security experts and then turn that into a meaningful set of tools and then set about improving it.”

It is the analytics capabilities of Silver Tails Systems that RSA is now adding to its existing security portfolio with this new acquisition expected to be completed before the end of the year. It combines RSA’s existing expertise in the prevention of fraud with a new capability in the detection – and potentially the prediction – of fraud. “This is what Silver Tail brings to RSA,” writes Curry, “from our businesses that do authentication and security for financial transactions to our businesses that protect networks, end users, data and power incident response and forensics capabilities.”

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