IBM Watson Can Predict the Latest Hacks (ET CIO)


Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security has more than 20 years of experience in venture capital, cyber security and IT. In his current role, he has to face a new challenge almost every day with the advent of severe cyber attacks across the world. Speaking exclusively to ET, Zadelhoff talks about IoT security issues, enterprise security trends, use of AI to tackle security and Watson’s role in the analysing future attacks.

You recently said, “Lying is one of the best cyber security measures.” What is the rationale behind that?

Personally, people are sharing data about themselves that can never be changed. The place you are born, your parents’ name, social security number, your birthday etc. So, maybe it is time to lie, to invest in new name of your mother and say that my mother is maiden name is Smith instead the real one because that way, you do not provide the critical data. Once you provide the data, it cannot be changed. So, that was the basic idea behind the ‘lying’ comment.

Is artificial intelligence the only way to defend networks against unknown attacks?

It is not just artificial intelligence but about the hygiene of security. Therefore, we look at the recent breaches, there needs to be patch management. We need to scan codes for vulnerabilities. Many of these basic vulnerability and penetration hygiene elements are important. The second is- layering in analytics so that you can detect what is actually happening. It is same as the video camera. You cannot prevent someone from entering every room but you can at least monitor the intrusion. We can do analytics and predictive behavioral analysis to prevent such attacks.