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Canadian universities instrumental in IBM’s AI-powered cyber security system
SECURITY

Canadian universities instrumental in IBM’s AI-powered cyber security system 

Big Blue is applying its cognitive learning technology battle cybercrime. The company is using what it calls “cognitive security”- capabilities built upon artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing – in order to assist security specialists in identifying potential threats from data that computer systems generate. IBM Watson for Cyber Security will come up with evidence-based hypotheses and recommendations meant to aid humans to come to better decisions.

Some of the organizations interested in the system include Avnet, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Rochester Medical Centre, Sun Life Financial, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., and Scana Corp.

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Students from eight universities, including the University of Waterloo, the University of Ottawa, and the University of New Brunswick were instrumental in helping train IBM’s super computer, Watson to recognize and analyze cyber threats.

The students were tasked to put information a form that Watson can understand. As new information is published, IBM said, Watson for Cyber Security will adapt that knowledge so that it can provide users with new insights and patterns gleaned from the data.

Watson for Cybercrime can help users determine whether a current cyber attack is associated with a known malware of cybercrime campaign. It can provide organizations with background information on the malware used, vulnerabilities it exploited and the extent of the threat.

Watson for Cybercrime will also identify suspicious behavior, and provide context to user activity outside of the initially identified suspicious behavior.

IBM foresee a growing market for cognitive technologies.

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that nearly 60 per cent of security professionals believe emerging cognitive technologies will be a critical component of the war on cybercrime.

“Customers are in the early stages of implementing cognitive security technologies,” said Sandy Bird, chief technology officer, IBM Security. “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 centers. Currently, only seven percent of security professionals claim to be using cognitive solutions.”

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