IBM sets up cybersecurity lab in Beersheva

IBM cybersecurity lab Photo: Liron David

The company's Beersheva laboratory is its largest outside the US.

IBM's global security division today announced the expansion of activity by its Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) and the launching of a new laboratory in the Bayside Land Corp. Ltd.(Gav Yam) (TASE: BYSD1) park in Beersheva, in cooperation with the company's research division.

IBM's CCOE has already been operating for four years on the campus of Ben Gurion University of the Negev as part of activity by IBM's research center in Haifa. The Haifa research center is IBM's largest research center outside the US. The laboratory in the Negev began as a limited pilot with a few researchers from IBM and the university. Over the years of its activity, the laboratory grew to dozens of researchers, and is now expanding again.

IMB CCOE associate director Dr. Yaron Wolfsthal told "Globes," The laboratory that operated on the site of the university had around 200 square meters. IBM, the parent company, saw the benefit in the laboratory, and decided to invest in a new laboratory with several floors in the Bayside Land high-tech project. The new offices can contain three times as many employees as the current laboratory."

The new laboratory was inaugurated by IBM security general manager Marc van Zadelhoff, who said at the inaugural ceremony, "In our cyber laboratory in Beer Sheva, advanced protection technologies are being developed whose inclusion in the security division's products is highly important to the company's global business. The launching of the expanded laboratory is a sign of this." Wolfsthal also says that the new laboratory is a vote of confidence by the parent company in the Israeli laboratory. He added, "The reason why the laboratory in Israel is so important is that there is an ecosystem of cyber security specialists here. We work as an innovation arm with all of the parent company's security division's product units."

According to Wolfsthal, Ben Gurion University is an important shareholder in Bayside Land's high-tech project, and cooperation with it is expected to continue on a larger scale in the new laboratory. Among other things, research is taking place in the center on detecting insider threats in order to prevent security failures caused by organizational users, research and development for biometric algorithms to improve capabilities for verifying users' identity, networks security for connected vehicles, and security for endpoints, such as stationary computers, smartphones, etc.

"One of our main projects is for detecting irregular internal organizational traffic. It turns out that statistically, a large proportion of the security breaches in organizations is caused by innocent users. The parent company spotted the need to find a solution for this problem, and our laboratory was assigned the task of defining a solution for it," Wolfsthal told "Globes." "We developed a system that monitors not only traffic of the servers and the network, which is the usual practice, but all traffic involving the user: what app he used and what files he accessed. We do analytics for this information using artificial intelligence, so that every security manager in the organization knows the level of risk for each of his users, and can take appropriate measures, such as training."

IBM's security division is active in 130 countries and has 8,000 employees worldwide. The security division's sales turnover totals $2 billion a year, and it is IBM's youngest division - it has been operating for only six years.

IBM's global research division

* Over 3,000 researchers deployed in 12 laboratories in six countries

*IBM has thousands of workers in Israel, and its research laboratory in Israel has several hundred employees, making it IBM's largest laboratory outside the US.

* IBM spends $5-6 billion annually on research.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 31, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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IBM cybersecurity lab Photo: Liron David
IBM cybersecurity lab Photo: Liron David
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