IBM Watson: Regular A.I. by day, cybercrime fighter by night

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IBM Watson is an artificial intelligence of many talents. 

It can win Jeopardy!, help find treatment for cancer patients — and now it can find cyberthreats. That’s right, Watson is becoming a cybersecurity expert. So how has IBM helped Watson change hats?

In IT Blogwatch, this reminds us of something.

So what is going on? Alison DeNisco has some background:

IBM Watson has a new job: Cybersecurity specialist. At the RSA Conference…IBM announced the availability of Watson for Cyber Security, with the aim of assisting cybersecurity professionals with threat assessment and mitigation…The company said it is the industry’s first augmented intelligence technology with the ability to power cognitive security operations centers (SOCs).

But what need does Watson fill here? Ian Barker has those details:

Security teams sift through more than 200,000 security events per day…leading to over 20,000 hours per year…wasted chasing false positives. For the past year, Watson has been trained on the language of cybersecurity with over a million security documents, and has been tested with over 40 clients. The system is…ready to work side-by-side with security analysts.

And what does Watson for Cyber Security do? Larry Dignan has the rundown:

Watson will be integrated into IBM’s Cognitive Security Operations Center platform that tracks endpoint, network, user-based, and cloud security issues…IBM will provide a…security app dubbed QRadar Advisor with Watson. The app has access to Watson’s insights…A Watson chatbot is used in IBM’s Managed Security Services effort…IBM…detailed Havyn, a voice security assistant that’s built on Watson.

And has Watson helped detect any shady cyber business yet? Alex Konrad is in the know:

Mark van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security…says…One customer…tested Watson head-to-head with its normal methods…and discovered attacks on 34 of the company’s laptops linked to a new strand of malware…To the security analyst without Watson’s data, the results had looked like a false positive.

So far, this sounds promising. So who will likely use Watson for Cyber Security? Kevin Bissett has that info:

Caleb Barlow, vice-president of IBM Security…won’t discuss prices, but said he expects the new app will be used primarily by large universities and corporations.

Does all sound slightly familiar? Ian Sherr thinks he knows what:

In this week’s This Feels A Little Like Skynet: IBM built a…voice assistant using artificial intelligence called Hayvn, focused on cybersecurity…[like] Amazon Alexa, but instead of ordering soap, it’s helping you manage threats. … This might sound like it’s ripped…out of…Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, in which the military unleashes an…A.I. called Skynet to fight a virus that’s been disrupting worldwide networks. And yes, that A.I…becomes sentient, launches nukes and begins “Judgement Day.” But that’s just fantasy, right?

This article was written by Rebecca Linke from Computerworld and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.