The development of the internet and digital services have increased the rate at which people’s data are being collected. Before the year 2000, there was no Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, and most of Google’s digital services. Before the year 2000, few banks had mobile banking services, and few persons, if any, ordered goods and services online. Still, very few government agencies offered online services. Nevertheless, today, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Paypal, and virtually all banks offer countless services online. Government agencies and companies, especially in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, have many of their services moved online.
Each day billions of people around the world are on the internet conducting one service or another. Some are on bank’s websites or mobile apps conducting transactions, and some are filling forms on a university’s website, others shopping online, etc. Hospitals, hotels, social media platforms, government, and law enforcement agencies each day generate petaflops of data. The advent of the internet and developments in information and communication technology have aided the ease of doing business online.
This has subsequently led to the generation of big data. The generation of big data about customers’ preferences, consumer habits, health care records, and citizens’ biodata has enabled the ease with which goods and services are provided, enhancing communication and decision making. But big data have also become a target for cybercriminals, hackers, and fraudsters. Every day online platforms, banks, corporations, and government agencies are being targeted by hackers and cybercriminals. To get into their database systems, steal sensitive information, and commit identity theft or financial crimes. While big data is being used by cybercriminals to commit fraud, it could also be used to fight cybercrime. In what follows, we shall examine how big data can aid the fight against cybercrime. But before then, let us understand what big data is.
What is Big Data?
Big data simply refers to a huge amount of structured and unstructured data that due to its large size, is impossible to be processed using traditional software and data-based technique. Big data in recent years have become increasingly used by companies and corporations as a way of finding patterns and trends in habits and behavior. While big data has been manipulated by cybercriminals to hack into the database and systems of companies and corporations, it could also help in advanced threat detection using artificial intelligence and machine learning. One major way big data can be used to fight cybercrime is big data analytics. Big data analytics is the process of analyzing and assessing large and varied volumes of data that, in many cases, are often unexploited by regular analytics programs. The data could be structured or semi-structured or a combination of both. Big data can aid the fighting of cybercrime in the following ways:
- Ability to Detect Anomalies: One of the major advantages of big data analytics is that it can handle a large volume of data and detect anomalies, whether in a device or network. Big data analytics can detect odd behavior and flag them for further examination and investigation. By detecting and flagging anomalies, it can pinpoint and direct network analysts in the right direction and help them detect the cause of an attack.
- It Can Help Predict Crime before it Happens: Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data analytics can predict what could happen in the future due to its ability to analyze huge volumes of data and draw a conclusion from it. Big data analytics can anticipate attacks before it happens, helping big database owners to prevent cybercrime. By analyzing big data, companies, and government agencies, big data can foresee future attacks and develop measures to prevent them.
- Grasp the Scope/Frequency of Attacks and Plan for Them: By studying and analyzing big data, data analytics can leverage historical data and past experiences of cyberattacks to categorize and identify the scope and breadth of cybercrime going on and how frequently they occur. It can discover the frequency of attacks, the information hackers’ target, and the means they use. With this information, organizations can plan for cyber-attacks intelligently.
Big data presents us with boundless opportunities and risks. Just as it is the target of cybercriminals and being manipulated to compromise databases, it also holds opportunities for crime fighting. Big data analytics will help law enforcement and cyber security professionals’ crunch big data and make sense of it. It provides opportunities to take a holistic look at cybercrime by identifying patterns and regularity. With big data analytics taking advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence, algorithms can be developed to track criminal activity and run background checks of databases to identify unusual activities. Similarly, big data can play a big role in employing facial recognition and fingerprinting to preempt crime and catch criminals.
Big data analytics can help law enforcement agencies search through the huge criminal database and identify perennial offenders and track their activities. One of the ways hackers compromise databases and hack into big data is through phishing and malware scams. Organizations having cybersecurity software or Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN) that fend off such attacks will go a long way towards ensuring the integrity of their systems. Hoody is a BPN that provides its user’s security features that protect them against privacy threats. It provides a high degree of privacy and encryption. Meaning that third parties can no longer track activities of your systems protected by Hoody. Once you use Hoody with your browser, all your tabs and websites get a new IP address, a new location, and a completely different set of Fingerprints, tracking becomes impossible. Hoody Phantom Browsing™ breakthrough neutralizes the most intruding tracking techniques.