17 Jan 17. Watson For Cybersecurity. IBM has announced that 40 companies around the world have signed up for its IBM Watson’s Beta Cybersecurity Program. The companies will test the ability of IBM’s cognitive computing technology to help in the battle against cybercrime. The trial will include representatives of the banking, healthcare, insurance, education and other key industry sectors. Watson for Cyber Security uses technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing, which is being trained to understand the language of security.
IBM claims the combined technologies will help security analysts make better, faster decisions from vast amounts of data, including unstructured data that has been “dark” to security defences until now.
Today’s increasingly challenging security environment has created the need for more intelligence to identify and prioritise threats, which is, in turn, increasing the workload of security analysts with more alerts and anomalies to process than ever, said IBM.
A recent study from the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that nearly 60% of security professionals believe emerging cognitive technologies will play a critical role in turning the tide in the war on cyber-crime.
“Customers are in the early stages of implementing cognitive security technologies,” said Sandy Bird, chief technology officer at IBM Security. “Our research suggests this adoption will increase threefold over the next three years, as tools like Watson for Cyber Security mature and become pervasive in security operations centres. Currently, only 7% of security professionals claim to be using cognitive solutions.” Companies taking part in the beta tests will use Watson in their current security environments to bring additional context to their cyber security data. IBM said Watson will help organisations to determine whether or not a current security “offence” is associated with a known malware or cyber-crime campaign. If it is, Watson can provide background on the malware employed, vulnerabilities exploited and scope of the threat, among other insights, said IBM. Watson is also expected to help improve organisations’ ability to identify suspicious behaviour by providing additional context to user activity. Working with these beta customers, IBM is continuing to enhance Watson’s understanding of the cyber security data and refine how Watson can seamlessly integrate into day-to-day security operations. (Source: Cyber Security Intelligence/ComputerWeekly)
17 Jan 17. Pair of Air Force Cyber Weapons Systems Ready for War. Late last year, the Air Force declared one of its newest cyber weapons tools initially operationally capable. The tool, the Automated Remediation Asset Discovery (ARAD), is a modification to the Air Force Cyber Security and Control System (CSCS), which was itself declared IOC by Air Force Space Command in 2014.
CSCS, according to an Air Force fact sheet, is a weapons system that is designed to provide 24/7 network operations and management functions enabling key enterprise services within both classified and unclassified Air Force networks as well as supporting defensive cyber operations on those networks.
As outlined in a recent release from 24th Air Force – home to Air Force’s Cyber – ARAD leverages leading-edge technology to comprehensively modernize and efficiently improve vulnerability management execution, defensive cyber operations, system health, asset management and situational awareness capabilities.
“ARAD brings improved speed and precision across the enterprise. We are excited about the potential ARAD holds to improve our situational awareness and cyberspace defense,” said Brig. Gen. Mitchel Butikofer, 24th Air Force vice commander.
Moreover, ARAD will improve management of vulnerability discovery and remediate them automatically in a matter of seconds to minutes, as opposed to days or weeks.
“ARAD has the ability to discover and identify adversary activity and actions