Security & Fraud

Hackers Beware: IBM’s Watson Is On The Prowl

Watson for Cyber Security

The supercomputer is taking on cybercrime.

IBM announced Watson for Cyber Security on Tuesday (May 10). The company’s massively powerful supercomputer, Watson, will now be trained on the language of security as part of a year-long research project, with the intention to further scale the system.

As part of the effort, IBM will team up with eight universities across the country to “greatly expand the collection of security data IBM has trained the cognitive system with,” the company said in a press release. The goal is for Watson to learn the nuances of security research information and eventually uncover hidden cyberattacks and threats by discovering patterns and evidence within the findings.

Part of the materials provided to Watson for Cyber Security will include IBM’s X-Force research library, which is said to include nearly 20 years of security research, data on 8 million spam and phishing attacks and more than 100,000 documented vulnerabilities.

The body of knowledge will be crucial to the pioneering cognitive security project, which also aims to address the looming cybersecurity skills gap.

"Even if the industry was able to fill the estimated 1.5 million open cybersecurity jobs by 2020, we'd still have a skills crisis in security," Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security, explained in a statement.

"The volume and velocity of data in security is one of our greatest challenges in dealing with cybercrime. 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, bringing greater speed and precision to the most advanced cybersecurity analysts and providing novice analysts with on-the-job training," van Zadelhoff continued.

By utilizing Watson's ability to learn and reason from "unstructured data,” IBM said Watson for Cyber Security will help organizations by delivering “insights into emerging threats, as well as recommendations on how to stop them, increasing the speed and capabilities of security professionals.”

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