the IBM 5 in 5 – Digital guardian will protect you online

“Bank accounts hacked!”

“Credit card numbers compromised!”

“Social media network passwords stolen!”

These headlines are the norm on the news ticker these days. And if your identity has ever been stolen, you know exactly how difficult it is to recoup and rebuild your digital self. IBM Research is building a digital guardian to soon learn how to better-secure your online life.

Over the next five years, this guardian of big data will analyze and learn from your online behavior patterns, going back months and years to know what to protect. And when it detects a possible breach, you will be the first to know.

This cognitive system currently tracks several different security anomalies. It also incorporates security measure such as fingerprint and facial recognition. So, as it understands what you secure and how, it can even make decisions for you, per your instructions and permission. Not trying to buy a jetpack because you’re afraid of heights? Your digital guardian will know this, and won’t let this daredevil with your credit card buy it either.

Protecting your patterns

Hopefully, it won’t come to the point of a breach in the first place. IBM and its partners are layering in “always aware” intelligence. You can’t be in two places at once. So, if the smartphone you accidentally left at a restaurant is being fondled by fraudulent fingers, the pervasive system will recognize the offender’s different touch pattern (even if your phone is unlocked) and lock your account.

In another example, imagine two purchases: $40 at a gas station, and $4,000 at Tiffany & Co. Today’s fraud monitoring might see the diamond purchase as highly suspicious, and ignore the charge at the pump. But your digital guardian will know that your car has a near-full tank of fuel; that you don’t usually re-fuel until you’re down to about one quarter tank; not to mention that you’re at the office when this charge appears. It will also know that you’ve been shopping for an engagement ring and have been spending your lunch hour window shopping outside the store.

This and other emerging learning systems will know you, help you, and protect you as we continue to generate more and more data, and put more and more of our lives online.

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