The breed of emerging security technologies, which leverage AI and machine learning, can slow down hackers and sift through massive data volumes to help users make actionable decisions.

Cognitive security will be available to any hospital within three years, IBM predicts

By Jessica Davis
11:42 AM

Cognitive security may seem like just another futuristic buzzword but as the rate of cyberattacks increase, healthcare organizations are elevating security needs and looking for new methods to thwart attacks.

The relatively new security tool leverages machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing to help IT leaders make better security decisions by cutting through vast amounts of data. And the software can address shortage gaps, reduce a hospital's risk profile and increase efficiency.  

IT consultancy IDC projected that the overall $8 billion cognitive computing market of 2016 will skyrocket to some $47 billion by 2020 and healthcare, along with discrete manufacturing, will be leading that growth.

[Also: Machine learning changing everything but healthcare]

Specific to cognitive security, IBM’s Institute for Business Value researchers determined in a new report that currently only 7 percent of security professionals are working on implementing the tools but in the next two to three years 21 percent of respondents plan to do so.

IBM is not the only company offering cognitive security, either. Cisco, for instance, acquired a company called Cognitive Security in 2013. Other vendors include Ace IT, RSA, Symantec, Intel-McAfee, according to reports, and MIT has work underway on cognitive security for personal devices.

BIg Blue researchers spoke with more than 700 security professionals for its report and about 60 percent of respondents said cognitive security tools could effectively hinder cybercriminals, while 40 percent indicated that using cognitive security improved intelligence, including detection and incident decision-making capabilities.

“Cognitive security looks to unlock a new partnership between security analysts and their technology to analyze security trends and distill enormous volumes of structured and unstructured data into actionable knowledge,” the report authors noted. “Even though cognitive technologies for security are in the early days, there is great hope and optimism about their potential.As cognitive security solutions become more established and widespread, any organization will be able to tap into their benefits.”

Today’s security leaders face many challenges. The greatest is perhaps figuring out how to reduce the average incident response and resolution times. And about 40 percent of respondents said alert optimization accuracy and keeping pace with threats and vulnerabilities are also major challenges. 

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