Umbrella Security Lab researchers consider visualization and design the key to data driven security intelligence. In a recent post, OpenDNS CTO Dan Hubbard shared insight on evolving security Venn and the role security visualization plays in the shift.  Below is a look at how our team handles almost any data exploration process. dataexpl

We can look at data from Syria’s most recent Internet blackout for further evidence on how telling a graph can be. Below are DNS traffic plots we made using mathematica. The first plot shows the hours before and after Syria’s went offline. The second shows when Syria came back online the next day. 




There are tons of exciting technologies that can be used for visualizing data. D3, Angular, Amber, and backbone.js are just a few. We use Angular and Highcharts in the Umbrella Security Graph, and we’re using Maltego and amMap, ggplot2 (R), and OpenGL as well. But there are still many questions to be answered: 

What are the coolest visualization examples we can draw ideas from?

Which of these techniques make a good stack for use out-of-the-box?

What does visualization mean for big data?

Which chart types can reveal patterns for discovery, rather than just being eye candy? 

What techniques allow us to interact with a graph, exploring the rich dimensions of our data?


d3To try and answer some of these questions, we invited the experts from Bay Area D3 User Group to the OpenDNS headquarters.

Miles McCrocklin [video, slides] and Chris Viau [video, slides] each presented a different-yet-unified focus on reusable D3 visualizations, providing a very good collection of resources.  Jyri Tuulos [video, slides] covered how to build object-oriented D3 charts using Views in Backbone.js, including structuring the code, the distribution of responsibilities between the libraries, and extending chart classes from a single base class.

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If all this talk of Big Data leaves you wanting to roll up your sleeves and do some data mining of your own, we’ve got a great place for you to get started. Below you’ll find the BGP data we observed during the Syrian Internet Blackout. Can’t wait to hear more about what you discover. 

[download the data link1 link2] [data description


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