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IBM recruits 40 enterprises to beta test Watson cognitive system

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IBM has recruited 40 enterprises from auto, banking and insurance sectors to beta test its Watson cognitive computing system as an enterprise protection tool, according to a report by CIO.

The enterprises include Sun Life Financial, University of Rochester Medical Center, SCANA Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, California Polytechnic State University, University of New Brunswick, Avnet and Smarttech, which will all help research and develop new security applications that will use the system’s natural language and machine learning methods.

The Watson for Cybersecurity project is designed to automate IT security duties, such as analyzing the many alerts generated daily by security operations with an end goal to eventually automate responses to security issues.

The volume of security data presented to analysts continues to grow at an exponential rate, with the average organization seeing over 200,000 pieces of security event data per day and enterprises spending $1.3 million a year to deal with false positives alone, IBM said.

Using Watson, the beta customers will be able to integrate more experience to the system and develop new use-cases such as determining whether a current security “offense” is related to a known malware or cybercrime campaign.

If such an offense is found to be associated with malware or cybercrime, Watson provides various insights including background on the malware employed, vulnerabilities exploited and scope of the threat, according to Diana Kelley, executive security adviser to IBM Security.

The cognitive system can also help to improve the detection of suspicious behavior and help determine whether an activity is malicious.

Earlier this year, the Watson project embarked on a year-long research into cybercrime issues with eight universities, including California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Penn State, MIT, New York University, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, University of New Brunswick, University of Ottawa, and University of Waterloo.

Through the project, approximately 15,000 security documents are fed into Watson every month, including threat intelligence reports, cybercrime strategies, threat databases and materials from Big Blue’s own X-Force research library.

Previously reported, IBM added a behavioral biometrics feature to its Trusteer Pinpoint Detect anti-bank-fraud toolkit to help banks easily detect detect unauthorized logins.

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