Posted on

Watson Joins Cybersecurity Warriors’ Ranks

By John P. Mello Jr.

Source: TechNews World

IBM announced Watson for Cyber Security, a powerful new ally for organizations that want to protect their data from Net marauders.

The new offering bolsters the ability of information security pros to analyze the flood of information from the roughly 200,000 events that pour into their Security Operations Centers, or SOCs, every day.

About 20 percent of that flood is comprised of structured data that can be analyzed with database tools, but as much as 80 percent of it is unstructured data such as security blogs, white papers, Twitter feeds and forum threads. It’s data that contains valuable nuggets, but finding them is difficult.

“What Watson does is take all that information — structured, unstructured, as well as other information from the operations center — and put it in a cognitive system,” explained Denis Kennelly, vice president of development and technology at IBM Security.

“There it can be used to help the SOC operator to triage the security events,” he told TechNewsWorld.

While Watson can speed the analysis of data, its threat detection potential is limited, maintained Scott Miserendino, chief data scientist at Blu Vector.

“It’s primarily an enrichment service,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Betting on Cognitive Tools

“Today’s sophisticated cybersecurity threats attack on multiple fronts to conceal their activities, and our security analysts face the difficult task of pinpointing these attacks amongst a massive sea of security-related data,” noted Sean Valcamp, chief information security officer at Avnet, an early tester of the Watson for Cyber Security system.

“Watson makes concealment efforts more difficult by quickly analyzing multiple streams of data and comparing it with the latest security attack intelligence to provide a more complete picture of the threat,” he said.

“Watson also generates reports on these threats in a matter of minutes, which greatly speeds the time between detecting a potential event and my security team’s ability to respond accordingly,” Valcamp added.

Only 7 percent of security pros currently use cognitive tools in their workflow, but that is changing, according to IBM, which expects usage to triple in the next two to three years.

That’s because as more and more devices come online, they create a burden on security teams they won’t be able to handle without the help an AI like Watson.

“The attack surface for the attacker is mushrooming,” Kennelly said. “Tools like Watson can help defend against those expanding attack patterns.”

Voice-Powered Security Assistant

IBM also announced the Havyn Project, which is developing a new voice-powered security assistant to work with Watson’s data.

The assistant will use Watson APIs, BlueMix, and IBM’s cloud to provide real-time responses to verbal requests and commands. It will draw on information from open source security intelligence, including IBM X-Force Exchange, as well as client-specific historic data and security tools.

Further, IBM introduced a Watson-powered chatbot to support its IBM Managed Security Services customers.

“I hope that doesn’t mean you go into a chat channel and you talk to someone you think is an IBM security analyst who’s actually Watson,” said Misha Govshteyn, chief security officer at Alert Logic

“I don’t think that’s a viable approach,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Customers want to talk to a human being.”

Cybersecurity Essential

Although artificial intelligence has advanced rapidly in some areas — self-driving cars, for example — it has lagged in security.

“In terms of what can be accomplished, we’re just scratching the surface,” Govshteyn said. “In the next 10 years, AI will be used at every level of the security industry.”

AI is a necessary thing for security, added BluVector’s Miserendino.

“As threats become more complex, you need more advanced human analysts to analyze them,” he explained. “They’re a very limited resource, so being able to apply machine learning and automation to that process is going to be critical moving forward.”

AI is relevant for cybersecurity, but it will have limited impact if applied only to a specific solution, vendor or silo, maintained Tony Ayaz, CEO of Gemini.

“The way we need to leverage AI is across security silos and existing investments. The ability to extract meaning for analysts to conduct faster investigations is by connecting dots between all solutions,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“IBM Watson is a great business intelligence play, but adding an app or lightweight bot on top of QRadar to collect event data and leverage patch management with open source threat intelligence are methods that are in play already with other solutions,” Ayaz said. “I think IBM is attempting to leverage Watson to integrate their solutions, and that is something that is probably needed,” he added, “but this not a game changer.”

Posted on

Perth Data Management Workshop

Source: PPDM

Please join us for the 2017 Perth Data Management Workshop on August 10, 2017.

In response to the current economic conditions this year, the Perth Data Management Workshop (formerly known as Symposium) will once again be a one day event – August 10, 2017 – and we have highly discounted the registration rates to make it easier to attend.

We invite you to come participate as we work together towards collective action and community building. PPDM Association Events are specifically designed to facilitate collaborative idea sharing, discussion and networking. You can expect to participate in numerous discussions, workshops and activities. Learn from your colleagues’ experiences, ask questions, build relationships and make key face to face connections. Engage in dynamic sessions and attend information packed presentations.

Please note that our conference fees will be in US Dollars.

Agenda, Schedule & Abstracts

The theme for this year’s Perth Workshop is “Traditional vs Emerging E&P Data Management.” The oil industry has always been a cyclical one and it is going through challenging times right now. E&P data and people may be the companies’ main assets, but data volumes, variety and complexity are increasing dramatically while data expertise is becoming more difficult to access. Keeping the (data management) lights on during a downturn may not seem like a priority to management, yet the expectation is that the data will be ready for exploitation when needed, including in new ways such as “data mining” and “machine learning”. The workshop is looking for presentations which will review either the traditional and proven practices of data management or emerging practices which are evolving in this modern changing environment, and how the PPDM programs and activities can support this evolution in the different organisations of our industry.
The deadline to submit abstracts for this event has been extended until May 19, 2017. To submit your abstract, please visit our Abstract Submissions Page. Please note that presentations are 20 minutes in length with 5 minutes afterwards for questions.

Please note that speakers will be given a 50% discount off the full conference registration fee (Exclusions may apply). Speakers from Operating Companies are also eligible for a complimentary registration, please contact for more information. Confirmed speakers must register a minimum of 1 month ahead of the event or risk loosing their speaking spot.

Please note, PPDM Conferences and Seminars are designed to inform and educate the data management community.

Venue & Hotel

This year’s Symposium will once again take place at the Curtin University Graduate School of Business Function Room – 78 Murray Street.


Please note that there is no onsite parking for this event. The Wilson Car Park is located to the rear of the building on the corner of Wellington and Pier Street, which is the closest parking location.

NEW! Virtual Registration

New this year, we are introducing a virtual option to register for this Symposium to attend Virtually. This Webex style attendance will give you access to the presentations and listen to the speakers.

Posted on

Senate Committee majority supports Great Australian Bight exploration

Source: APPEA

After hearing evidence from regulators, community groups and the industry, another Senate Inquiry has reported with a clear majority of its voting members supporting oil and gas activities in the Great Australian Bight, subject to robust regulatory standards.

The Senate Environment and Communications References Committee today tabled its report into oil or gas production in the Great Australian Bight, with chair Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young predictably the only one of six voting members to oppose exploration and development.

The report follows the March report from the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee which rejected Senator Hanson-Young’s Private Member’s Bill seeking to ban oil exploration.
APPEA Director South Australia Matthew Doman said it was pleasing that petroleum exploration in the Great Australian Bight continued to receive bipartisan support.

“Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry has a long track record of safe operations and low environmental impact,” Mr Doman said.

“In recent years, the regulatory framework has been enhanced by the creation of a strong, independent regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Authority (NOPSEMA), which does not allow petroleum activities to proceed without satisfying the highest standards of environment and safety management, and appropriate community consultation.

“Australia has had, for decades, a safe, sustainable offshore petroleum industry in Victorian and Western Australian waters. There is absolutely no reason to doubt that South Australia can also support exploration and development in harmony with its marine environment.

“The economic benefits could be enormous. While it is very early days, success in the Bight would attract substantial investment to South Australia and see significant local job creation – something the state desperately needs.”

Media Contact:

Kieran Murphy
Mobile: 0408 151 922

Posted on

The Top O&G News Stories – Monday Nov 21 2016

(Source: Oilpro Daily)

It is 8am in Houston, 2pm in London, 6pm in Dubai and 10pm in Singapore. And here are the top O&G news stories for today, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016.

Oil Prices Trending Back Up. Hopes continue to mount with a boost from a weaker dollar and a looming production cut.

Rowan And Saudi Aramco Join Forces. Rowan will be provide three jack-up rigs and Saudi Aramco two, and both companies will contribute $25 million in working capital with more to come through 2018.

Iraq to Raise Hand At OPEC Meeting. Iraq’s oil minister announced that it will have suggestions — and they probably don’t include a contribution to an output cut — at the next OPEC meeting on Nov. 30.

Bets Are Big In Oil. Between the U.S. elections and oil volatility, higher bets are being placed on U.S. West Texas Intermediate.

Papua New Guinea Still Feeling Heat Over LNG Project. Landowners are still unhappy over government officials allegedly not keeping up with their end of the bargain for the country’s LNG project.

ConocoPhillips Moves On From Nikiski. The world’s largest E&P company continues to pull away from the Alaska LNG Project, but says the local economy won’t be affected, for now, at least.

North Sea Decommissioning Bill On Taxpayers Plates? The removal of rigs in the North Sea could mean taxpayers would pay between 50 and 75 percent of a £100 billion bill.

More Pipelines in Canada? Kyle Bakx with CBC asks: “Do we really need more oil pipelines in Canada?

Putin Feels Good Vibes On OPEC Deal? The Russian president said there is “no difficulty” for his country to freeze production and that there is a strong likelihood the OPEC agreement will be achieved.

Aramco Looks To Petrocehmicals. Saudi Aramco is getting “an unprecedented makeover” as the oil giant makes moves on petrochemicals for its future.

Posted on

The Top 10 O&G Stories You Gotta Read

Article taken from OILPRO – Jonathan Garris

It is after 8am in Houston, 2pm in London, 5pm in Dubai, and 10pm in Singapore. And here are the top O&G news stories for Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

Holding At 50. Oil prices still kept an edge over the $50 mark as analysts say a drop in crude inventories helped balance out people sweating over OPEC’s meeting.

Could OPEC Need Help? When there’s something strange and oil prices don’t look good, who’s OPEC going to call? Good question. Even it’s maximum reduction plan might not put a dent in record stockpiles.

Singapore Still Sinking and Stressing. As Singapore’s oil and gas companies head into the fourth quarter, doubts are continuing to grow over some firms’ ability to pay off their debts.

Cuban Oil A Good Investment? MEO Australia says it will be doing what it can to free up potential oil reserves along the Cuban coast line.

Petronas LNG Gets Hit With Lawsuit. Aboriginal groups and environmentalist groups are filing lawsuits today against the government of Canada to overturn the permit for the $27 billion LNG project.

Balance In the Force (Of The Natural Gas Market). Ex-Cheniere boss Charif Souki weighs in on what might best help the glut in natural gas.

A Big Chunk Offshore Of Everything. According to the EIA, offshore oil accounted for 30 percent of global output last year.

ConocoPhillips Boasts Smaller Loss. The latest earnings report by the oil giant showed a smaller loss this year’s quarter compared to last, at least.

Natural Gas Futures Down, Down, Down. Futures fell to a seven-week low ahead of inventory reports.

Top Shipyards Brace For Cuts. Shipbuilders in South Korea aren’t exactly feeling warm and fuzzy after 20,000 jobs have been eliminated this year and that might not even be close to the end.

Posted on

Gartner: Future investment in big data expected to fall

Big data investments continue to rise but are showing signs of contracting, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey revealed that 48 percent of companies have invested in big data in 2016, up 3 percent from 2015. However, those who plan to invest in big data within the next two years fell from 31 percent to 25 percent in 2016.

The online survey was conducted in June 2016 among Gartner Research Circle members. In total, 199 members participated and shared their investment plans.

“Investment in big data is up, but the survey is showing signs of slowing growth with fewer companies having a future intent to invest,” says Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. “The big issue is not so much big data itself, but rather how it is used. While organizations have understood that big data is not just about a specific technology, they need to avoid thinking about big data as a separate effort.”

Big data is a collection of different data management technologies and practices that support multiple analytics use cases. Organizations are moving from vague notions of data and analytics to specific business problems that data can address. “Its success depends on a holistic strategy around business outcomes, skilled personnel, data and infrastructure,” Heudecker adds.

While nearly three quarters of respondents said that their organization has invested or is planning to invest in big data, many remain stuck at the pilot stage. Only 15 percent of businesses reported deploying their big data project to production, effectively unchanged from last year (14 percent).

“One explanation for this is that big data projects appear to be receiving less spending priority than competing IT initiatives,” Heudecker says, noting that only 11 percent of respondents from organizations that have already invested in big data reported that their big data investments were as important, or more important, than other IT initiatives, while 46 percent stated that they were less important.

“This could be due to the fact that many big data projects don’t have a tangible return on investment that can be determined upfront,” Heudecker adds. “Another reason could be that the big data initiative is a part of a larger funded initiative. This will become more common as the term ‘big data’ fades away, and dealing with larger datasets and multiple data types continues to be the norm.”

A further factor to consider is the lack of effective business leadership or involvement in data initiatives. Too often, pilots and experiments are built with ad-hoc technologies and infrastructure that are not created with production-level reliability in mind.

“When it comes to big data, many organizations are still finding themselves at the crafting stage,” says Jim Hare, research director at Gartner. “Industrialization – and the performance and stability guarantees that come with it – have yet to penetrate big data thinking.”

Posted on

Iron Mountain’s Legacy Business in Australia

Source: Reference: IDM
Iron Mountain’s legacy business in Australia will operate as ZircoDATA Pty Ltd following approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the purchase of the domestic records and information management business by a consortium of experienced industry investors – Housatonic Partners and Dennis E. Barnedt.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, which is expected to close on 31 October 2016, the newly-branded ZircoDATA will operate as a standalone going concern, with the business’ existing team continuing to service the company’s national client base using its extensive network of systems and intellectual property. ZircoDATA has 18 facilities and a workforce of more than 300, and will continue to be led by Managing Director, Wes Gleeson.

ZircoDATA’s ownership comprises a combination of highly-experienced industry operators and sophisticated investors – including Mr Barnedt. In partnership with Housatonic Partners, Dennis is a key player in the global records and information management industry, having founded, acquired, managed and developed leading companies in the sector across the United States and Europe.

Mr Barnedt, who will relocate to Melbourne in his role as Executive Chairman of ZircoDATA, said the decision to purchase the majority of Iron Mountain’s legacy Australian operations was “driven by the opportunity to acquire an established, well run and profitable business with a reputation as a leader in the Australian market.”

Mr Gleeson said the team’s customer-focused approach was a key factor in its success and would continue while the business transitions to the new brand name.

“We’ll continue servicing our strong client base to the level to which they’re accustomed,while looking to drive further growth as a fresh name on the domestic landscape”, he said.

“We’re the same business, with the same great team and we’ve got the backing to keep building our suite of services for the benefit of our customers. In the meantime, we’re working through the process of introducing the ZircoDATA brand to the market, including our soon-to-be rebranded website and other assets”, said Mr Gleeson.

“Our core business is very strong in physical records management and the industry still has a long horizon in this area, however, we recognise the shift to digitisation and how our customers create, use and store their information,” said Mr Gleeson.

“In terms of the future of the industry, it’s about the broader management of information, and that includes both hard copy and digital information. However, we will be very assertively entering back into the data protection market, and establishing that as part of our full product suite including traditional records management.”

“We have terrific capability in our imaging bureau for data capture and OCR, and we will continue to leverage that. But we’re also going to broaden out our thinking and offering around digital backup, cloud storage of data, and potentially other adjacent products and services that sit around information management” said Mr Gleeson.

Executive Chairman Dennis E. Barnedt confirmed his interest in seeking further growth in Australia and the region through new acquisitions. Mr Barnedt will be relocating to Australia after spending seven years in Europe to expand his companies’ operations there. “I’m committed to building our business in the region. This acquisition was the right one for us and provides a very strong base for our growth plans” said Mr Barnedt.