The challenges of modern cyber-security are complex, so complex that a supercomputer can make a big difference. That's the hope of supercomputer vendor Cray and its partner Deloitte Advisory Cyber Risk Services.
The two announced a subscription-based Cyber Reconnaissance and Analytics service that uses the recently announced Cray Urika-GX supercomputer that can provide up to 1,728 compute cores, 22 terabytes of memory and 35TB of solid-state drive storage. Perhaps, even more importantly, the Urika-GX has been designed to help enable big data workloads, including Apache Hadoop and Spark.
"What we were dealing with was a lot of data that we needed to be able to process in a short amount of time with the ability to handle both structured and unstructured data," Gordon Hannah, cyber-reconnaissance and analytics leader for Deloitte Advisory Cyber-Risk Services and principal at Deloitte & Touche, told eWEEK. "That really drove us to look at the Cray platform."
Barry Bolding, chief strategy officer at Cray, explained that the Urika-GX includes Cray's Aries interconnect, which provides the ability to access memory on other nodes as if it resided on the local compute node.
"Think of it as a cluster, but with a single global address space for all the memory in the cluster," Bolding told eWEEK.
Cray provides the hardware while Deloitte provides the security analytics technology. End-user customers work directly with Deloitte and do not need to physically acquire an Urika-GX supercomputer, but rather can use the system on a hosted subscription basis.
"We're delivering this as a managed service so clients don't have to buy a Cray platform, so organizations get the benefit of a supercomputer that they can procure in bite-sized chunks," Hannah said.
Deloitte Advisory Cyber Risk Services is bringing multiple tools to the Urika-GX, including data collection, third-party threat intelligence and analytic processing, Hannah said.
"We have a significant background in looking at risk models and controls for our clients," Hannah said. "So we're able to weigh risk for the organization versus what we see through analytics, and we have a visualization layer so clients can look at the various risks and threats."
The Cyber Reconnaissance and Analytics service also provides a behavioral analytics-based capability that can spot potential outliers to normal system and user behavior, he said.
"Over time, we can get to a baseline and see anomalies to the baseline," Hannah said. "But even right out of the gate, we can see things initially that are not expected or not part of the organization's policy, and we can flag those."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.