Cognitive security is the future, says Martin Kuppinger

Modern computing capabilities combined with cognitive technology has huge potential for tackling unknown attack patterns and addressing the security skills shortage, says Martin Kuppinger

User organisations should investigate cognitive security now because that is the future, according to Martin Kuppinger, principal analyst at KuppingerCole.

“Security suppliers should understand the potential of cognitive security and hire the rare experts in this area,” he told the opening session of the European Identity & Cloud Conference 2017 in Munich.

Kuppinger urged security suppliers to “reinvent” themselves to ensure they have a future. Current technologies, he said, are largely based on the known attacks, but attack patterns being faced by organisations are increasingly those that are unknown.

There is a growing need, said Kuppinger, for organisations to be able to detect attacks before they are analysed and known.

“It is more important than ever for organisations to have the capability to address attacks that are still unknown,” he said.

“We are only scratching the surface when it comes to advanced technologies to improve our cyber defences, and the time has come to take a serious look at cognitive security technology.”

A key area that a cognitive computing approach can help, said Kuppinger, is being able to correlate events in such a way that companies can identify which security events are related to an incident or attack and are worth investigating.

“One of the biggest challenges today in security is to reduce the number of events that need to be analysed, which is where the skills shortage is having the greatest impact, but cognitive computing can help by reducing the number of events that need to be analysed,” he said.

Read more about cognitive security

  • IBM has announced a cognitive assistant powered by IBM Watson to help businesses manage and secure endpoints
  • Security looks to machine learning technology for a cognitive leg up.
  • Irish managed security services provider Smarttech has increased its speed and capacity to analyse cyber attacks using IBM’s fledgling cognitive computing technology.
  • Smart systems like IBM’s Watson, autonomous vehicles and a growing army of robots are quietly making more and more decisions every day.

Already, cognitive computing is enabling better understanding of authentication risk to determine when additional authentication is required and user behaviour analytics to help identifies abnormalities as potential indicators of malicious activity.

“We have just started this journey [into cognitive security] but it is an important journey that will have a great effect on things such as security intelligence and behaviour analytics. Cognitive security has the potential to make a greater impact on cyber security than traditional security technologies,” said Kuppinger.

In terms of closing the skills gap, he urged organisations to invest in education for their existing security team, recruit young academics and support the team to get the information it requires by applying cognitive technologies.

“Don’t try to do everything yourselves. You will succeed with a mix of people and managed services, which can complement areas where your team lacks skills or capacity,” said Kuppinger.

“Use the right tools to learn about attack patterns to detect incidents, to analyse and classify incidents, and to respond to incidents. Use cognitive security technologies,” he said.

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