Forty companies are planning to roll-out IBM Watson for Cyber Security in a beta trial that will see the company's cognitive computing technology applied to computer and network security.
The companies include Sun Life Financial, Japanese banking giant SMBC, University of New Brunswick, University of Rochester Medical Center, Scana Corporation and Avnet.
Watson for Cyber Security uses intelligent technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to try and help security specialists to identify the potential threats from the avalanche of log and other data that computer systems and network infrastructure throw off.
Specifically, claims IBM, the beta customers will use Watson in their current security environments to bring additional context to their cyber security data, with new use cases such as:
- Determining whether a current cyber attack is associated with a known malware or cybercrime campaign. If so, Watson can provide background on the malware employed, vulnerabilities exploited and scope of the threat, among other insights; and,
- Better identification of suspicious behavior. Watson provides additional context to user activity outside of the primary suspicious behaviour, which can provide better guidance to whether or not an activity is malicious.
IBM will work with its beta customers to improve the intelligence of the software, the company says. Sandy Bird, chief technology officer of IBM Security, suggested that, soon, pretty much every company will need such cognitive intelligence integrated as part of their security posture.
"Customers are in the early stages of implementing cognitive security technologies," said Bird. "Our research suggests this adoption will increase three fold over the next three years, as tools like Watson for Cyber Security mature and become pervasive in security operations centres. Currently, only seven per cent of security professionals claim to be using cognitive solutions."
Computer security has routinely hit the headlines this year as more and more organisations have been compromised. Names to hit the headline this year include Tesco Bank, Michael Page Recruitment, Three and, of course, TalkTalk - on more than one occasion.
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