IBM Announces Plans for Watson for Cyber Security Platform

A cloud-based version of Watson’s cognitive computing technology will soon be used to process threat intelligence and provide insights on the latest cybersecurity threats. IBM has announced that the Watson for Cyber Security platform will be launched in the fall.

The Watson for Cyber Security platform will be a year-long cybersecurity project, which will process around 15,000 security documents every month and will be programmed with data from the X-Force research library. Those data include over 100,000 vulnerabilities and more than 8 million spam messages gathered over 20 years.

IBM will be collaborating with 8 universities and will work on expanding the data that is already in its system. Students will be shown how to train the new Watson version on cybersecurity language, and will play an important role in training Watson. This will also provide students with valuable experience in cognitive security. At present, there is a major skills shortage in security. It is hoped that this project will help students develop the experience they will need if they are to fill some of the estimated 1.5 million cybersecurity positions that are currently unfilled.

At present there is simply too much unstructured security data and too few skilled analysts to make sense of the information. More than 200,000 pieces of security event data are provided to enterprises each day. There are also more than 75,000 known software vulnerabilities and over 10,000 research papers on security released every year.

With such high volumes of data, it is almost impossible for the average security professional to keep totally informed on all of the latest threats, let alone make accurate determinations on data breaches. The Watson for Cyber Security platform will provide security data cognition at a scale not yet seen, and not only will provide valuable insights into the latest security threats but will also help security professionals implement strategies to deal with those threats.

IBM Security General Manager Marc van Zadelhoff said “By leveraging Watson’s ability to bring context to staggering amounts of unstructured data, impossible for people alone to process, we will bring new insights, recommendations and knowledge to security professionals.”

Van Zadelhoff explained that the Watson for Cyber Security platform will bring “greater speed and precision to the most advanced cybersecurity analysts.” This will also provide novice analysts with valuable on-the-job training.


Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of