April 5, 2023 by Gabriel Bassett




The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) is an invaluable tool for understanding breaches. The authoring team behind it also publishes a public dataset, (VCDB), and tools to analyze it with ([verisr][https://github.com/vz-risk/verisr]). The problem is that most folks aren’t ready to install and learn R to analyze data.

To help bring DBIR analysis to everyone, we’ve always wanted to make R analysis available through blockly, a visual programming tool developed by google. Blockly’s sequence of connected blocks parallels the piped functions from dplyr such as

vcdb |>
  dplyr::filter(plus.dbir_year==2022) |> # yearly analysis subset
  dplyr::filter(attribute.confidentiality.data_disclosure.Yes) |> # breaches
  verisr::getenumCI("action", ci.method="bootstrap") # analysis query

useful for analyzing VERIS breach data. Unfortunately, blockly still requires an R kernel to run. Until recently that would have meant a complicated process of installing and running R and connecting it to your browser. However recently the WebR project was published, capable of running R in web assembly!

Now, everything can occur in the browser, connecting the strength of R analysis with the easy of use of blockly! We’ve started a project here. It’s very much a proof of concept experiment at this point, but hopefully it will lead to easier R analysis for everyone!