IBM Watson Augments Security Analysts With Machine Learning Capabilities

Security analysts need help. The average organization sees over 200,000 pieces of security event data per day, with enterprises spending $1.3 million and wasting nearly 21,000 hours a year dealing with false positives. We know that the volume and velocity of data in security is one of the greatest challenges when dealing with cybercrime, and it was against this backdrop that IBM put Watson to work as a cybersecurity advisor in May 2016.

Watson on the Front Line of the SOC

One of the early adopters that trialled the new recruit was Smarttech. Watson showed that it could solve in minutes problems that would take days for humans to research. “Far from threatening the analysts’ jobs, Watson has enriched our technical team’s work,” shared Ronan Murphy, Smarttech CEO.

Two years on, Watson is firmly on the front line in Smarttech’s security operations center (SOC), and the firm’s clients value the technology. Aisling Deasy, chief information officer (CIO) for Abtran, a leading provider of customer and process management services, said, “IBM Watson for Cyber Security enables our security team to predict, identify, understand and then eliminate cyberthreats. This gives Abtran the confidence to stay ahead of ever-increasing cyberthreats.”

The example from Abtran shows that businesses value the skills of the artificial intelligence (AI) security analyst, and suggests that we will soon see more and more SOCs integrating machine learning into their security strategies. This represents an exciting new opportunity for cybersecurity analysts as data becomes more challenging to process. When organizations augment human intelligence with AI, processing volumes of data doesn’t have to feel like sweeping a beach — we know and accept that the tide will keep bringing in more grains of data.

Learn More

This brave new digital world of ours provides the right conditions for tempestuous cyberattacks. It is critical for analysts to work quickly and effectively with their AI tools to weather the storms that will always be raging in the seas of cybersecurity.

You can learn more about this topic by reading a recent article published in The British Computer Society titled “Meeting the Augmented Security Analyst.” In it, Martin Borrett, chief technology officer (CTO) for IBM Security Europe, explained how augmented intelligence is helping cybersecurity experts operate more effectively on the front line.

Meet IBM’s Martin Borrett, an Augmented Security Analyst


Nilima Patwardhan

External Relations, IBM UK and Ireland

Nilima is the External Relations lead for Security and GDPR across IBM UK and Ireland. She works closely with the IBM...