IBM Intros New Analytics Software to Battle Cyber-Crime

IBM's new i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis (EIA) solution put IBM's considerable analytics muscle to work fighting cybercrime.

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LAS VEGAS—IBM has announced new high-speed analysis and criminal investigation software designed to uncover hidden criminal threats buried deep inside massive volumes of disparate corporate data.

The software, IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis (EIA), can find non-obvious relationships masked within hundreds of terabytes of data and trillions of objects in just seconds, IBM said. By fusing together these multiple data sources, organizations can gain complete visibility into threats across the enterprise, giving companies the ability to transform how they protect themselves from increasingly sophisticated attacks. IBM announced the new software at its IBM Insight 2014 conference here.

Organizations across industries face endless threats from cyber-crime and other criminals in pursuit of private customer information, employee records, financial data and intellectual property. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) estimates that cyber-crime costs the global economy $445 billion each year. The proliferation of connected devices and machines, from mobile phones to smart cars to remote oil rigs, only compounds the problem by opening new avenues for criminals to penetrate the enterprise.

Operating at high speeds and massive scale, i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis accelerates the data-to-decision process by uncovering new insights into criminal threats against the enterprise that intelligence and security analysts might otherwise not have realized for days, weeks or months later. EIA analyzes huge amounts of disparate data to discover weak-signal relationships that reveal the true nature and source of an attack.

The solution unravels these hidden connections that can be divided by as many as six degrees of separation between disparate sources, from corporate records and social media chatter to data accessed by remote sensors and third-party applications. As developments unfold, EIA provides always-on recommendations that proactively alert analysts to new related abnormalities at the speed of attack.

"The IBM solutions and services announced at Insight show the company moving rapidly toward what might be called 'personalized' analytics solutions capable of parsing massive amounts of data down to the level of individual transactions and deriving insights and value from that information," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT. "The company's new i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis technology is a prime example of that approach and demonstrates how the company plans to address one of the most pressing IT issues of our time—spiraling cyber-crime—in ways that should help make the enterprises and individual consumers targeted by cyber-criminals considerably more secure."

For example, consider a national retailer that has not yet realized hundreds of its customers' credit card account numbers have been stolen and sold on the black market. Any illegal transactions can be easily lost in the noise of typical day-to-day activity—such as a transaction denial, a billing dispute or multiple purchases at the same store. But when connected together, EIA can immediately spot commonalities that reveal the specific store branches that were breached. This insight allows the retailer to take action before millions of accounts are compromised and any significant damage is done, IBM said.

"Organizations can't afford to take a reactive approach to cyber-defense, nor can they do it alone. The speed of threat is too great, and today's attackers are far more technically advanced, proficient and organized than ever," Maria Vello, president and CEO of The National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA), a non-profit role model organization for collaboration, information and resource sharing between public and private organizations in the fight against cyber-crime, said in a statement. "Threat analysts and investigators need the ability to look at every possible data set and relationship—no matter how distant or unrelated they may seem—and be able to make key associations and correlations in seconds. The new IBM i2 offering is an impressive tool in its ability to quickly analyze these massive data sets in near real time to paint a complete picture of the threat."

Built on IBM Power Systems, IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis can complement existing security or fraud solutions.

"While most organizations understand how big data can help prevent the ever increasing threat of cyber-crime, they are so overwhelmed by massive data volumes that they can't act fast enough to turn it into meaningful intelligence to stop criminals," said Bob Griffin, general manager of i2, Threat and Counter Fraud at IBM, in a statement. "With IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis, we've changed the ability of investigators to find that illusive needle in a haystack that helps them detect a cyber-attack. This provides any organization with always-on analytics that turns massive amounts of data into real-time insights in a way that simply wasn't possible before."