IBM announces Watson for Cyber Security

IBM Chief Watson Security Architect Jeb Linton
IBM Security on Tuesday announced the launch of Watson for Cyber Security, its cognitive technology on IBM Cloud.

The enterprise IT vendor will also associate with 8 universities to train Watson on the language of cyber security, said IBM. These universities include California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Pennsylvania State University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; New York University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); the University of New Brunswick; the University of Ottawa and the University of Waterloo.

Meanwhile, IBM’s Chief Watson Security Architect Jeb Linton has demonstrated to University of Maryland Baltimore County student Lisa Mathews how to teach IBM’s Watson the language of security, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Baltimore, MD.

IBM says it will start beta production deployments that take advantage of IBM Watson for Cyber Security later this year.

IBM’s X-Force research library will be a central part of the materials fed to Watson for Cyber Security. This body of knowledge includes 20 years of security research, details on 8 million spam and phishing attacks and over 100,000 documented vulnerabilities.

The company said average organization sees over 200,000 pieces of security event data per day with enterprises spending $1.3 million a year dealing with false positives alone, wasting nearly 21,000 hours.

Couple this with 75,000-plus known software vulnerabilities reported in the National Vulnerability Database, 10,000 security research papers published each year and over 60,000 security blogs published each month– and security analysts are severely challenged to move with informed speed.

IBM claims that Watson for Cyber Security will be the first technology to offer cognition of security data at scale using Watson’s ability to reason and learn from unstructured data – 80 percent of all data on the internet that traditional security tools cannot process, including blogs, articles, videos, reports, alerts, and other information.

IBM analysis found that the average organization leverages only 8 percent of this unstructured data. Watson for Cyber Security also uses natural language processing to understand the vague and imprecise nature of human language in unstructured data.

Watson for Cyber Security is designed to provide insights into emerging threats, as well as recommendations on how to stop them, increasing the speed and capabilities of security professionals.

IBM will incorporate other Watson capabilities including the system’s data mining techniques for outlier detection, graphical presentation tools and techniques for finding connections between related data points in different documents. The technology company claims that Watson can find data on an emerging form of malware in an online security bulletin and data from a security analyst’s blog on an emerging remediation strategy.

Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager, IBM Security, said: “By leveraging Watson’s ability to bring context to staggering amounts of unstructured data, impossible for people alone to process, we will bring new insights, recommendations, and knowledge to security professionals.”