IBM's Watson will soon become a cyber-security expert

Hackers are done for, Watson has just entered the building. No, not Sherlock Holmes' sidekick, but IBM's supercomputer. The company recently announced that it will send Watson on a year-long research project to make it smarter and more usable in the cyber-security industry.

Eight 'leading' universities in the US and Canada will be assisting Watson, feeding it approximately 15,000 documents a month, to make it learn more about cyber-security, the threats hackers pose and, probably, how they work.

IBM says Watson can make all the difference in the world, for two main reasons. First, an average organisation has some 200,000 security events every day, which can lead to 32 separate attacks. The rest are, if I understood the press release correctly, false positives. Now companies waste more than a million dollars every year, and cyber-security experts waste 21,000 hours during the same period, just to come up with these false positives.

Watson can speed up this process and save companies both time and money.

The second main reason is that there is a huge skills gap in the cyber-security industry. By the end of this decade, we'll be missing 1.5 million security experts, so 'building Watson's brain' seems like a logical step forward.

“Even if the industry was able to fill the estimated 1.5 million open cyber security jobs by 2020, we’d still have a skills crisis in security,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security. “The volume and velocity of data in security is one of our greatest challenges in dealing with cybercrime. 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, bringing greater speed and precision to the most advanced cybersecurity analysts, and providing novice analysts with on-the-job training."

I don't know, man, we're giving this Watson dude a whole lotta power.