IBM’s famed Watson computer ‘gets a job’ fighting cybercrime threat

IBM's Watson 'gets a job' fighting cybercrime

FREDERICTON — A year after IBM began teaching its Watson computer system to fight cybercrime, the company is making the platform available for use.

“Now he gets a job and makes us some money,” quipped Caleb Barlow, vice-president of IBM Security.

He said a new app called IBM QRadar Advisor is now available as a tool to help determine the seriousness of a cyber threat.

Barlow said security teams sift through over 200,000 security events per day on average, trying to determine what might be a serious threat.

More than 20,000 hours per year are wasted chasing false positives, he said.

“What Watson for cybersecurity does is sit beside those human beings and acts like their research assistant,” he said.

Watson — IBM’s question-answering computer system — was originally designed to compete (and win) on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, but the technology has since been used on other problem-solving projects from clothing design to cancer.

The University of New Brunswick is one of 40 customers around the world who have been beta testing the new app. Others included California State Polytechnic, Sun Life Financial, and the University of Rochester Medical Centres.

David Shipley, UNB’s director of strategic initiatives for information technology services, said research that would take him half a day only takes Watson a few minutes.

He said that before Watson, he could only select the worst cases and try to make an objective analysis based on what knowledge he has been able to gather.

“Our ability to do that as people is limited to how much information we can learn about the latest and greatest attacks. There is a great volume of information produced every day, and I as an educated professional may be able to consume one per cent of that,” Shipley said. 

“With Watson, because it is a system of cognitive computing, it can consume all of this data.”

Shipley said he now seeks advice from Watson on 10 to 15 cyber threats each day.

Barlow won’t discuss prices, but said he expects the new app will be used primarily by large universities and corporations.

It’s estimated that by 2020, there will be two million unfilled cybersecurity jobs.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Two Vernon robberies in two hours, one suspect arrested

Kelowna man facing numerous charges in connection with pair of robberies and flight from police

Okanagan air quality at a high health risk

The north, central and south Okanagan are all listed at a nine on AQHI

West Kelowna looks to keep trucks off city roads

A bylaw amendment could mean fines for trucks that veer off highway

Cool cats project exhibit opens with cat adoption event in Kelowna

A day of art and cats will take place Saturday

No growth on the Monashee Complex wildfires

Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Harris Creek fires continue to burn near Lumby and Cherryville

Falcons down one in WCL championship series

Kelowna loses to the defending champion Corvallis Knights Tuesday at Elks Stadium

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

South Okanagan powwow celebrates young leaders

Penticton Between the Lakes powwow continuing to grow

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Most Read