Featuring a computer-savvy kid and Cold War intrigue, the 1980s movie War Games inspired more than one generation of STEM graduates. Sean Dyer is one Gen X’er who credits the movie for sending him on a path to where he is today as a cybersecurity data scientist.
As the fog lifts in San Francisco on February 29, SAS will join tens of thousands of information and network security professionals for the 2016 RSA Conference. While we gear up for our second year of participation at RSA, it seems appropriate to get to know some of the SAS experts like Sean that are changing the way this $77 billion market looks at analytics.
In a few brief minutes of listening to Sean talk about data science, I could feel his passion and excitement for his work. Catch a glimpse of how Sean’s contributions offer a continuous picture of the most serious threats to our customers’ data.
I’m a life-long SAS user, starting with learning to code in graduate school at Southern Illinois University. After a lot of data and analysis, I figured out I couldn’t crack the lottery code. True story. So I took my love of problem solving and began working in statistics for insurance and later defense contracting. The opportunity to work for SAS in the advanced analytics team was a natural career progression and I’ve been here since.
I’d like to think that the seed of my interest in cybersecurity was sewn with the movie WarGames. When working with the SAS Federal Government team, I had the opportunity to dream with some of my colleagues about what was possible using analytics for defending the US against hackers. We gave a blue-sky style presentation at a national labs’ IT conference on how analytics could solve growing security problems. When we finished the presentation, there were a line of customers that wanted to talk. That kind of encouragement from the people that do this work every day fueled a fire that eventually led us to develop SAS® Cybersecurity.
Right now, scalability is a big challenge. It’s not so difficult to analyze network and security data from a single point in time for a small network environment. But when you scale up to the enterprise level, conventional analytic techniques simply won’t work. We’re working with enormous amounts of streaming data and on top of it, there are a lot of unknowns.
Most security analysts believe that any enterprise network is already compromised. With detection taking months and new exposures happening all the time, the threats are significant. Our advanced analytics solution doesn’t make assumptions about how the bad guys will behave. We’re looking at everything and offering continuous visibility to allow customers to mitigate against those threats.
We may not be talking War Games but plan to network with us at Booth 4234 at the RSA Conference. Come chat with Sean and the rest of the SAS team at CyberAnalytics Happy Hour, February 29 from 5-7 pm and March 1 from 4-6 PM.