IBM Partners with Canadian Universities to Help Watson Tackle Cybercrime

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IBM Security this week announced Watson for Cyber Security, a new cloud-based version of the company’s cognitive technology trained on the language of security as part of a year-long research project.

To further scale the system, IBM plans to collaborate with eight universities to greatly expand the collection of security data IBM has trained the cognitive system with.

Watson is learning the nuances of security research findings and discovering patterns and evidence of hidden cyber attacks and threats that could otherwise be missed. Starting this fall, IBM will work with leading universities and their students to further train Watson on the language of cybersecurity, including the University of New Brunswick, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Waterloo.

IBM intends to begin beta production deployments that take advantage of IBM Watson for Cyber Security later this year.

Designed on the IBM Cloud, 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 will also 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.

“Even if the industry was able to fill the estimated 1.5 million open cyber security jobs by 2020, we’d still have a skills crisis in security,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security. “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.”

Students will help train Watson on the language of cybersecurity, initially working to help build Watson’s corpus of knowledge by annotating and feeding the system security reports and data.

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