IBM will bring Watson to security later this year

Cognitive computing may be the next big thing in cybersecurity

Cognitive computing is coming to security later this year, and IBM will be bringing it.

Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. Cognitive computing involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.

IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. Watson analyzes unstructured data from news articles, research reports, social media posts and enterprise system data.

"IBM has already brought elements of cognitive computing to some of its security offerings and plans to bring the full power of Watson to its security arsenal later this year. The Watson capabilities will help security professionals find potential cyberthreats and eliminate false positives faster and with more precision, rank the risk of their operations, and help reduce the security skills gap by helping helping to answer security-related questions" says Tim Breuer, an IBM Security spokesperson.

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The security skills gap is a major problem faced by corporations and governments globally. There are 1 million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. If cognitive computing can be used to perform some tasks normally reserved for IT security staff, then it may see rapid market adoption over the next couple of years.

IBM announced its 2015 earnings yesterday. IBM Security grew 12% in 2015, and became a $2 billion business. This is the second straight year that IBM Security posted double-digit growth.

The security analytics market is forecast to exceed $7 billion by 2020. With Watson, IBM is poised to contend for enterprise opportunities in this space. CSOs and CISOs at Fortune 500 and Global 2000 corporations who are already doing business with IBM will look to Big Blue and hear what Watson has to say.

It remains to be seen if cognitive computing will be recognized as its own category in cybersecurity the way security analytics has been spun out of the broader analytics market. For the time being, cognitive is most likely to come up in the context of security analytics - a technology that corporate security experts are just starting to get their arms around.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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