Crime / Law

Big data analytics key to crime fighting, says Microsoft

Big data analytics is increasingly playing a role in the fight against cyber crime, according to Bryan Hurd, director of advanced analytics at Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU).

“Big data analysis is how big problems are diagnosed and solved,” he told Computer Weekly at the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, the DCU’s world headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

The facility, unveiled in November 2013, was set up as a centre of excellence to advance the global fight against cyber crime and enable the DCU to work more effectively with partners to fight online crime.

Cloud-scale criminal activity demands cloud-scale partnerships and systems, said Hurd, because criminals are “pickpocketing whole countries with almost no cost and getting away with it”.

But he emphasised the importance of transparency around the types of data used for this kind of analysis through open public-private partnerships.

“The thing about big data as a positive force in this equation is that often you cannot hide global-scale crime, no matter how hard you try, because it is so monumental. The volume and velocity of this data requires us to work together faster because criminals can change their tactics and move their operations amazingly rapidly,” said Hurd.

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