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What Is Operational Intelligence and What Are Its Benefits?


What Is Operational Intelligence and What Are Its Benefits

If you are unfamiliar with the term operational intelligence, you may think it is another aspect of the data-driven decision-making bandwagon. At a high-level view, you would be correct; operational intelligence relies on data to help you make better decisions. However, unlike business intelligence, which measures data with a lag of hours and sometimes days, operational intelligence is measured in real time so you have an accurate look at what is going on at any particular moment in time. 

Business are using operational intelligence in many interesting ways. Some common uses include:

  • Providing an online customer with product recommendations based on their history
  • Providing a business unit with the real-time status of progress toward a business goal
  • Alerting your IT team to potential outages or downtime

However, perhaps the area where operational intelligence can have the biggest impact on your business is cybersecurity.

The Real-Time Benefit of Operational Intelligence

When it comes to cybersecurity, seconds can be precious. You may think that when the average time to detect a data breach is 197 days, seconds don’t matter. But anyone tasked with preventing attackers from moving through a network or exfiltrating data would disagree. The ability to see anomalies in network traffic, usage, and other data points that may indicate a breach as it is happening gives people with the right knowledge and experience a great advantage when it comes to stopping the attack.

If you are able to see the indicators of compromise acted out in real time, you can shut down compromised accounts before the attackers are able to do any real damage.

Using Operational Intelligence to Prevent Fraudulent Activity

Not all cybercrime results in a data breach. E-commerce sites are subject to fraudulent transactions where stolen payment card information is used. When the fraud is reported, the merchant is out the product and is hit with a chargeback fee. If a company sees this fraud on a regular basis, the costs rack up rather quickly.

Operational intelligence used in the right way can help detect all types of fraudulent behavior. Leveraging the right data points, you can see what is going on with your business and take action to verify any type of activity that may seem suspicious. Reliance on business intelligence doesn’t give you that real-time look—it can help you strengthen areas where you are susceptible to fraud, but not help you stop it.

Stop Phishing Attacks in Real Time

Phishing remains one of the most prevalent attack vectors that threat actors rely on. However, if you have trained your people to identify the traits of a suspicious email and they know what to do when they see one, you stand a fighting chance. Relying on operational intelligence solutions, you can take a look into reported emails to see if they are benign or if they match known attacks. Even if a suspicious email is part of a new campaign that no one has seen yet, the right operational intelligence allows you to make a decision regarding what action to take if you feel that you are under attack. For example, you can block emails that come from a certain sender, that meet a similar format, or even that contain a link or file attachment.

Business intelligence provides organizations with a number of benefits. However, some decisions need to be made as things are happening. When it comes to cybersecurity, having the right data as soon as it comes in gives you the ability to stop a threat actor in their tracks. Business intelligence solutions may help you remediate after an attack, but they will not give you the real-time insight that is required to actively hunt down a threat to your business.

If you would like to see how you can leverage operational intelligence to help secure your organization, reach out to a trusted managed services provider. The right provider will help you put the right solutions in place, and you will be able to leverage their team of highly skilled and experienced analysts to sift through the data to find any threats to your business.

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