LAS VEGAS – IBM InterConnect – 20 Mar 2017: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the availability of a new cognitive assistant that leverages IBM Watson to help IT professionals more effectively manage and protect networks of smartphones, tablets, laptops, IoT devices and other endpoints. The MaaS360 Advisor will use machine learning to analyze devices on the network and recommend policies, patches and customized best practices to better manage and protect them.
Now part of the IBM MaaS360 unified endpoint management (UEM) platform delivered via the IBM Cloud, the cognitive assistant addresses the challenge of managing device sprawl across businesses. With 49 percent of information workers using at least three devices for work on a weekly basis, technology and security teams struggle to keep devices compliant and secure.1 According to the just released Mobile Vision 2020 study from IBM Security and conducted by Forrester Research, the adoption of a centralized management approach delivered via UEM solutions will increase from just 15% of organizations today to 54% by 2020.2
IBM is training Watson on concepts such as device enrollment, identity management, and regulatory issues to further refine the relevancy of insights it offers. Watson will correlate other sources including data from the IBM X-Force Exchange on active threats like zero day vulnerabilities and malware to help protect devices from these threats. Also, actionable insights from the recently announced Mobile Metrics benchmarking tool will give IT and security leaders further access to context-driven best practices specifically recommended for their environments.
“There is enormous potential in unified endpoint management when you incorporate cognitive technology like Watson into MaaS360,” said Brian Jacome, Senior Product Manager, Enterprise Mobility at Royal Bank of Canada. “With this capability, we are able to get an in-depth feel of our device landscape instantly helping us make decisions faster as to where we need to evolve the platform.”
Supporting these cognitive features is the ability to manage a wide variety of endpoints, including IoT devices and their device gateways, which provide access to data for IoT devices. As a result, IT managers can set policies on what IoT data can be accessed by devices within their organization for greater security. IBM MaaS360 supports many IoT-based devices today, and will continue expanding its capabilities in 2017.
A Look to the Future of Endpoints
While 91 percent of organizations report an increase in endpoint data over the last two years, these endpoints are often managed by multiple consoles and teams.2 This data could provide valuable insights for business efficiency, but most organizations are challenged by the difficulty of collecting information and distributing software across complex enterprise environments. The lack of cross-device visibility leads to duplication of efforts, gaps in security, and negatively impacts user experience.
With organizations under pressure to reduce the total cost of ownership for the proliferation of devices in the enterprise, most (83 percent) are addressing the problem by breaking down departmental silos with a centralized management team. Furthermore, more than 80 percent of organizations plan to implement AI/cognitive computing by 2020 to analyze the vast – and increasingly growing – volume of endpoint data they collect.2
“When Watson’s cognitive features were made available to us, we were amazed at how easily it could take real-time events and correlate how they impact our production environment,” said Bryan Blubaum, Systems Administrator at Vectren Corporation. “Coupled with MaaS360’s already robust data set, MaaS360 Advisor can extrapolate possible threats proactively and provide our team with valuable insights.”
IBM MaaS360 Takes on Unified Endpoint Management
IBM MaaS360 is also researching how Watson’s capabilities to understand and reason from natural language could change the nature of endpoint management. For example, one project would let administrators ask MaaS360 Advisor conversational questions about their enterprise environment such as, “Show new Android tablets,” or “Show devices eligible for Windows 10 upgrade.” Supported by device analytics, actionable threat intelligence, and proactive recommendations, administrators will have a cognitive assistant to help automate the process of managing and securing an organization’s network of devices.
MaaS360 UEM supports multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows and macOS/OS X. Migrations from Windows 7 to Windows 10 will benefit even more with the ability to manage both Windows 7 and Windows 10 endpoints from a single console.
“Our investments in bringing Watson to MaaS360 are a major springboard into the Unified Endpoint Management space for IBM Security,” said Jim Brennan, Director of Strategy and Offering Management, IBM Security. “Enterprise administrators are responsible for digesting an incredible amount of data, including security vulnerabilities, privacy regulations, multiple OS and device updates, and compliance requirements. Through MaaS360 with Watson, we’re not only able to streamline and sharpen the data so administrators can stay ahead of the curve, but also transform the way they interact with their environment.”
Learn more about IBM MaaS360 and MaaS360 Advisor here.
About IBM Security
IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 35 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and holds more than 3,000 security patents. For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog.
About IBM InterConnect
InterConnect is IBM’s cloud and cognitive conference where more than 20,000 developers, clients and partners are being introduced to the latest advancements in cloud computing through 2,000 sessions, labs and certifications. IBM is positioning both enterprise and startup clients for success with a complete portfolio of cloud services and marquee partnerships, supporting a wide range of applications including: big data, analytics, blockchain and cognitive computing.
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