Because of the vast amount of data available and the fact that more is generated every day, the British scientist Thomas Young, who died in 1829, was known as “The Last Man Who Knew Everything.” Since that time, knowledge and available data has increased exponentially.
The Man Who Knew Everything
In 2010, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt noted that we had been producing as much data every two days as we had previously created before 2003. Seven years later, little has changed. We’re generating so much data, in fact, that experts cannot keep up. Security analysts face the same problem.
Unfortunately, the average security analyst can no longer investigate threats thoroughly without technological assistance. A typical analyst starts his or her day by going through a series of news articles and maybe doing some research. The analyst tries to keep up to date with the most visible and newest threats, but no longer has time to go into deep details or examine suspicious events.
Many sectors face this problem. There is simply so much information that an individual, and even a team, cannot stay on top of everything. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between essential indicators and false positives. And that’s not even including the time it takes to collect all the information about an attack, analyze it and respond accordingly.
Watson: From Jeopardy to Security
With QRadar Advisor with Watson, security operations center (SOC) analysts have a new kind of genius at their disposal. This tool is meant not to replace human analysts, but to help them make better and more informed decisions.
Some time ago, a team of IBM scientists sat around a table with one goal: to develop a self-learning system in which human reasoning was combined with massive computing power. Enter Watson. In 2012, no one could have predicted it would win Jeopardy, the popular television quiz show.
Jeopardy perfectly illustrated the strength of the technology. Watson could quickly analyze complex questions by searching massive databases, make connections and then produce a statistically weighted answer as a result. Sometimes Watson was just plain wrong, but the beauty of the technology is that it learns from its mistakes. Suddenly, cognitive computing stood out of the crowd.
Admittedly, Watson having a go at Jeopardy was little more than a nice gimmick. But imagine it taking on vast volumes of structured and unstructured data instead of mountains of encyclopedic, trivial knowledge. By using Watson, SOC analysts can make better, faster and more accurate decisions, supported by the latest information available from a variety of preselected sources.
QRadar Advisor With Watson: Augmenting Human Intelligence
Watson for Cyber Security is not intended to replace people. It is not even considered artificial intelligence, which lacks machine learning and reasoning capabilities. IBM defined Watson for Cyber Security as an enabler for augmented intelligence and an invaluable resource to help security specialists save precious time. Just ask IBM partner Sogeti, which achieved 50 percent faster analysis times with Watson.
When an analyst is investigating an incident, he or she can upload all data with the QRadar Advisor with Watson application installed on the QRadar console. Within minutes, Watson comes up with an analysis that takes into account the latest developments in the field. Moreover, Watson automatically creates links to related threats and research, making the incident information more rich and informed.
Security analysts are still responsible for determining the appropriate follow-up action. It may sound counterintuitive, but cognitive technology helps to make the work of cybersecurity more human.