It’s that time of year again when we look back at who the Innovators were over the past 12 months.
It’s that time of year again when we look back at who the Innovators were over the past 12 months.

Industry Innovators 2016: Next-generation security monitoring and analytics

This is a fairly large section, in part because this is the core emerging marketplace in data protection currently – and for the foreseeable future. The Innovators who have cleared the pathway toward using sophisticated data analytics, machine learning and Big Data are the ones who will define the genre and what it really means to be “next-generation.” Unfortunately, that is a term fraught with hype to the point where, like “Big Data” it is in danger of losing its meaning almost before there was a chance to establish it.

Here we are very specific about what we mean by these terms. Next-generation must have some form of advanced algorithmic analysis and machine learning and must be able to work in the context of Big Data. Big Data we define strictly to include IBM's four Vs: Velocity, Variety, Volume and Veracity. Each of the Innovators we look at this year do, in fact, fit our description. Unfortunately, we are not quite “there” yet globally with next-generation and we may, perhaps, be forgiven if a tool that we class as next-gen has taken only baby steps along the road to maturity.

We have five Innovators in this category this year and they are different in many ways and alike in many. While some may consider themselves competitors, we can say with confidence that, cost not being an object (these tools can get a bit pricey), we could justify one of each in our lab or SOC.

One of our Innovators performs threat hunting on the wire (dynamic), one on the platform (static), and two are analytic activity monitors on steroids that watch everything in the range of their sensors then analyze and display/alert. The displays of these two are dramatically different and they each have individual strengths. In many ways, they overlap, but in many ways they augment each other. Finally, we have one that is, for us, anyway, at the top rung of the “emerging technology” ladder in that it out-honeypots any honeypot we have ever seen.

All things said, we think that this may be the most exciting assembling of Innovators for this year. To watch and use these tools is to see the future unfolding on your screen. You will see – with all of these products – things going on in your enterprise of which you never dreamed.