Making Transactions More Secure In A Data-Driven, Digital Economy
By Ross Mauri
The global economy runs on mainframes. And they are getting smarter and adding new security capabilities as we enter the era of cognitive computing.
As the global IT hub for commerce, the IBM z Systems mainframe already holds much of the world’s data. It’s the core system for 92 of the world’s 100 banks, 23 of the top 25 retailers and all 10 of the top insurers. Other industries, including transport and government, also rely on mainframes to manage their most important data and transactions — with their information always available, operational and secure.
Organizations in all of these industries are now exploring options for hybrid cloud — a combination of on-premise systems and the public cloud. According to IDC, more than 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017. This opens new possibilities for engaging customers and rapidly deploying new applications, but also opens new vulnerabilities.
For these reasons, today we are introducing new security technologies embedded in the mainframe to address risks, while supporting new innovations and opportunities enabled by hybrid cloud. We’re adding new features in the entry-point mainframe, the z13s, which allow companies to encrypt data twice as fast as the previous version. We are integrating the mainframe with security solutions from IBM and our partners to provide a secure hybrid cloud environment from end-to-end.
We’re also offering all z13 and z13s customers a beta version of new Cyber Security Analytics that brings cognitive computing to threat monitoring. The analytics service, developed by IBM Research, studies user behaviors across a system to detect anomalous activities, alerting administrators to potential malicious activity. It learns patterns, getting smarter and more effective over time. Our z Systems customers will be the first to receive this new service.
As customers seek to analyze more data from more data sets, this is the start of a journey that will take them to the cognitive era, allowing them to securely leverage more data for meaningful insights.
In the cognitive era, a premium will be placed on both structured and unstructured data, such as conversations, social media posts, videos and photos. And the data will come from a variety of sources held on a company’s internal systems and in the public cloud.
Tapping into this combined data will drive new insights and allow businesses to form new, deeper levels of understanding and intelligence. Instead of simply recognizing and reacting, successful organizations will learn and anticipate new market trends and customer demands. In short, businesses and their IT systems will begin to “outthink” their biggest challenges.
Cognitive computing is an incredible breakthrough, like finding water on Mars. It sheds new light on something that’s right in front of us, but was previously hidden, uncovering an entirely new world with bold new possibilities.
Cognitive computing will do the same for the world we live in, and mainframes have unmatched capabilities as a technology leading the way to uncover these new insights. Our newest mainframes, the z13 and z13s, have massive I/O pipes for moving data, the world’s fastest commercial microprocessor, up to 10 terabytes of memory and leading-edge software for managing data. Even better, IBM z Systems can do in-transaction analytics, processing transactions and performing analytics at the same time.
Companies around the globe already are using the mainframe’s advanced capabilities to drive business results. Major retailers and payment processing firms count on the mainframe to handle massive spikes in traffic for Black Friday and Cyber Monday without any downtime.
A European oil company has improved the bottom line at its retail stores by injecting predictive analytics into every retail transaction, making highly accurate cross-sell recommendations based on patterns found in its mainframe data. And a major bank, has lowered the cost of fraudulent card transactions by using advanced analysis of its mainframe data to fine tune its processing system.
As we continue on our journey of cognitive computing, even more sophisticated analytics will be delivered to yield valuable insights and smarter security to ensure that systems are protected. Organizations will need to take full advantage of platforms, such as IBM z, to help them thrive and succeed. They will be able to use these platforms as the foundation for their broader network and to help them explore new data for outthinking the competition and better serving their customers.
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