Understanding the evolution of cybersecurity dashboards is key to understanding current best practices and methods for protecting networks and data.
In some ways, it's ironic that having more "data about data" –- a term some experts jokingly use to refer to metadata –- will protect core data assets like customer identifiers and trade secrets, but the reality is that having the right raw information and the right user interface delivers insights to business leaders that can really be the meat and potatoes of modern cybersecurity efforts.
With that in mind, let's take a more modern look at what vendors and others are doing right now. Here are three advancements in cybersecurity dashboards to watch for in 2022:
Together with visualizing aggregated security data, companies are using new AI tools to direct cybersecurity frameworks and operations. (Also read: AI in Cybersecurity: The Future of Hacking is Here.)
Most of the better AI-powered cybersecurity dashboards benefit from a “human-in-the-loop” (HITL) component to do quality testing, but with the right convergence and targeting, AI can be very useful in cybersecurity — a data-rich pursuit that more than a few experts think of as a kind of sophisticated game of whack-a-mole.
Forbes' Bernard Marr has named AI's predictive and forecasting capabilities and its ability to deal with a wider and more diverse field of threats and cyberattacks as major reasons why AI can be useful for cybersecurity efforts. Marr writes:
“AI means [modern cybersecurity work] can be done in systems that need to cope with thousands of events taking place every second, which is typically where cybercriminals will try to strike.”
This shows how AI presents new frontiers for understanding and using security data sets that are in the fancy "control panels" of dashboard systems. These methods can essentially automate a lot of what humans would have otherwise had to do themselves. The result can decrease dwell time, mitigate threats and present better reporting.
Contextual Data Visualization
Experts are also considering the potential of contextual data visualization, which in some ways is similar to AI-powered cybersecurity.
Essentially, data visualization involves systems getting data and presenting it in digestible ways, showing context and providing clues for security detectives who are trying to track down vulnerabilities and weak spots, while spotting suspicious network behavior or other signs of an emerging threat.
This patent summary detailing contextual data visualization explains:
“A method for contextual data visualization includes receiving data selected by a user and metadata associated with the data. The data is analyzed, using a processor of a computing device, to determine the content and structure attributes of the data that are relevant to the visualization of the data. The metadata is analyzed, using a processor of the computing device, to determine a context in which the visualization of the data will be used.”
Contextual data visualization can also occur within a database. The same summary illustrates:
“A database comprising an aggregation of visualization records from a plurality of users is accessed and at least one template from the data visualization records that matches the data attributes and context is selected. A data visualization is created by applying at least one template to the data.”
In other words, the system gets data from more than one user, puts it into a template, and curates it that way. The broader concept here is behind a lot of new cybersecurity dashboard platforms.
People who understand the cybersecurity landscape want to enhance the human side of cybersecurity, too. These advances can be connected to all of the above smart dashboard activity and more.
A press release from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) talks about promoting multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a way to handle user access. That user access is often thought of as the “people part” of the system –- where people have to be allowed access to do their jobs, but where malicious insiders could wreak havoc on a network. (Also read: Insider Threat Awareness: Avoiding Internal Security Breaches.)
MFA helps guard credentials and enhance identity and access management, which is a very complementary standard for the high-tech data setups that will act as cybersecurity command centers.
Companies continue to drive progress in cybersecurity platforms.
The concept of data visualization has been around for a while, but it’s still being tied to new wagons — AI and otherwise — to do more by automating and improving network protection.