For decades, we’ve programmed computers to recognize viruses, malware and exploits. We continuously tune them to become more accurate, but it’s not enough. Adversaries constantly morph their attacks and find creative ways to breach defenses. What organizations need is the ability to detect the subtlest change in activity and analyze it with as much context as possible to distinguish and eliminate new threats.
Cognitive security systems are self-learning systems that use data mining, machine learning, natural language processing and human–computer interaction to mimic the way the human brain works. Built upon security intelligence, which leverages big data analytics, cognitive security is characterized by technology that is able to understand, reason and learn.
Whereas the current generation of systems are reactive—detecting and responding to anomalies or attacks—cognitive security is proactive.
It takes constant monitoring and maximum use of data to find attacks and abnormal behavior before damage is done. This is why the most challenging security problems still require people to make sound decisions about what to act on and what’s a false alarm.
The following three pillars of cognitive security function in a rapid-fire pace of human-like thought patterns:
- Understand and make sense of unstructured data and natural language text. This includes the ability to ingest and process information through “reading” books, reports, blogs and relevant industry data, “seeing” images and “hearing” natural speech within its context.
- Reason based on the ability to interpret and organize information and offer explanations of what it means, along with a rationale for conclusions.
- Learn continuously as data accumulates and insights are derived from interaction.
IBM, ACE IT Solution’s cybersecurity partner, is training a new generation of systems to understand, reason and learn about constantly evolving security threats.
Watson for Cyber Security will be the first technology to offer cognition of security data at scale using Watson’s ability to reason and learn from human generated, “unstructured data”, which was not previously accessible with traditional security tools. Watson can find data on an emerging form of malware in an online security bulletin, and data from a security analyst’s blog on an emerging remediation strategy and make the connections to better stop the threat.