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Amitava Kundu (TIBCO) - Log on with IT Compliance and truly manage BIG Data

Business is data-driven, are we missing the forest for the trees?

Sitting inside our own systems is data that describes our daily operations and offers an opportunity to take intelligent, data-driven actions.

When it comes to operational data, like log files, many businesses struggle to know how to take use this information wisely. Billions of daily logs, log files, from a wide variety of sources are now part and parcel of big data. If you can manipulate data in real time, you can expand your understanding beyond log management into customer-centric areas. If you can determine a large single-purchase is fraud or not in the moment, you mitigate risk while maintaining customer loyalty. Log data is both deep and wide.

Take RadioShack Corporation, an American franchise of electronics retail stores with a vast retail network that includes 4,700 company-operated stores across the United States and Mexico, 1,500 wireless phone centers, and 1,100 dealer and other outlets. In the fast-paced world of wireless devices and consumer electronics, RadioShack has a mobility strategy rooted in customer advocacy and choice.

Radioshack - Logging into the customer’s basket

RadioShack uses an enterprise data collection and log management infrastructure enabling log collection and log analysis in real time from 6,000 diverse locations. They collect data from simple log on and log offs on a server, but also global transactional data from every single cash register. RadioShack can now see patterns from thousands of log sources and filter log data. Additionally, customer basket analysis gains significant importance in analyzing customer behavior and operational data.

“You need to understand more about the customer’s wants and needs even before they enter the store. No longer is it simply about dollars and credit card transactions; it is about the customer’s basket and their selections.”

- Jeff Kewak, Director of Security, RadioShack Corporation

Previously, if a store was out of a product, the manager would contact the district who would, in turn, contact the region. After that, the product specialist at the corporate office would be involved. This reactive process needs to happen immediately to allow for agility to analyze and spot trends in the moment.

 

Compliance is the biggest driver for log management

While data collected has to be stored and maintained with proper controls for audit purposes, data also should be constantly queried in the moment before a threat becomes damaging.

The anomaly of a customer purchasing a significant number of cell phones on one day could indicate potential fraud, but needs to be contextually analyzed and filtered as fraud or simply a large one-time purchase. RadioShack can pick up trigger-based anomalies within a short time of the transaction to address anomalies right away.

“An enterprise must be able to analyze credit card transactions in real time, assesses the risk of fraud, and take steps to prevent fraud, while at the same expediting legitimate transactions. The impact is that if we can’t accept credit cards, we lose 46% of our transactions annually.”

- Jeff Kewak, Director of Security, RadioShack Corporation

With an enormous and growing amount of log files in geographically dispersed information silos, log management software that can correlate log formats to produce alerts will help you to defend against threats to your business.