IBM Unveils Industry’s First Quantum Secure System


IBM introduced on April 5 z16, the next-generation system with an on-chip AI accelerator, offering optimized latency inference. This innovation is designed to enable customers to analyze transactions in real time, at scale, for mission-critical workloads such as credit cards, healthcare, and financial transactions. IBM z16 is specifically designed to help protect against near-future threats that could be used to decrypt today's encryption technologies.

“IBM innovations, including the IBM z16, have formed the technological backbone of the global economy for decades. IBM's contemporary mainframe is central to hybrid cloud environments, rated as a highly secure platform for running the most critical workloads by two-thirds of the Fortune 100 -45 of the world's top 50 banks, 8 of the top 10 insurers , 7 of the top 10 retailers and 8 of the top 10 telecommunications companies-. For example, according to a recent study by Celent for IBM “Operationalizing Fraud Prevention in IBM Z”, IBM zSystems executes 70% of global transactions, on a value basis,” IBM writes in a statement.

“IBM is the gold standard for highly secure transaction processing. Now, with IBM z16 innovations, our clients can increase decision speed with inference right where their mission-critical data resides,” said Ric Lewis, SVP, IBM Systems. “This opens up tremendous opportunities to change the game in their respective industries, so they can position themselves to deliver better customer experiences and more powerful business outcomes.”

Real-time enterprise AI to revolutionize industries with new use cases and applications

In its announcement, IBM stresses that financial institutions around the world are struggling with the impacts of fraudulent activity on their revenue and consumer interactions. According to a new study from IBM and Morning Consult “2022 IBM Global Financial Fraud Impact Report”, credit card fraud is the most common type among consumers in the seven countries surveyed. Additionally, participants believe that banks and payment networks should bear the most responsibility for preventing fraud. But running deep learning models at scale in real time hasn't been possible due to latency issues, which means fraud detection models are only run on less than 10% of high-volume transactions, so a meaningful amount of fraud goes undetected.

IBM z16 marries AI inference, through its IBM Telum , with the highly secure and dependable high-volume transaction processing the company is known for. For the first time, banks can analyze fraud during transactions at scale: IBM z16 can process 300 billion inference operations per day with only one millisecond of latency. For consumers, this would mean reducing the time and energy required to handle fraudulent credit card transactions. For both merchants and card issuers, it would allow for a reduction in lost revenue, as consumers would avoid the frustration associated with false declines where they might turn to other cards for future transactions.

Other threats, including tax fraud and organized retail theft, are emerging as challenges that governments and businesses must monitor. Real-time payments and alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrencies are pushing the limits of traditional fraud detection techniques. Applying the capabilities of IBM z16 to other industries can help create an entirely new course of use cases, including:

  • Loan Approval – To expedite the approval of business or consumer loans.
  • Clearing and settlement: to determine which trades and/or transactions may have a high risk exposure prior to settlement.
  • Federated learning for retail: to better model risk against fraud and theft.

Protect data with the industry's first quantum-safe system

In a hybrid cloud environment, which includes on-premises and public cloud resources, it's critical to protect against today's threats and take a stand against cybercriminals who may be stealing data now to decrypt it later. Building on IBM technologies such as Pervasive Encryption and Confidential Computing, IBM z16 takes cyber resiliency a step further to protect data against future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing.

As the industry's first quantum-secure system, IBM z16 is backed by lattice-based cryptography, an approach to building security primitives that help protect data and systems against current and future threats. With IBM z16 quantum-safe cryptography, enterprises can future-proof their applications and data today.

With a secure boot (meaning poor actors cannot inject malware into the boot process to take over the system during startup), IBM z16 customers can strengthen their cyber resiliency and maintain control of their system. Additionally, with the Crypto Express 8S (CEX8S) hardware security module, it will offer both classical and quantum cryptographic technology to help address use cases that require confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of information. IBM z16's quantum-safe cryptography and secure boot can help clients address future threats related to quantum computing, including “harvest now, decrypt later” attacks that can lead to extortion, loss of intellectual property and disclosure of other touchy data.

Hybrid Cloud Modernization

IBM has spent the last three years making meaningful investments in service of its commitment to adopting open source technology on the IBM zSystems platform and to establishing a common developer experience across the hybrid cloud. These solutions are designed to help customers leverage their investments and the strengths of their existing IT infrastructure, clouds, and applications without friction, while providing the flexibility to run, build, manage, and modernize cloud-native workloads on the architecture of your selection.

Recent announcements as part of this effort include:

  • IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack To help customers increase agility and accelerate their transformation, including support for popular open source projects.
  • IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center A digital front door to a wide range of tools, training, resources, ecosystem partners and industry-specific knowledge through IBM Consulting, to help IBM zSystems clients accelerate modernization of your applications, data and processes in an open hybrid cloud architecture.
  • Adapted Pricing: a comprehensive approach that enables our customers to quickly respond to changing dynamic workloads and business needs with cloud-like pricing.
  • Anaconda to Linux on Z: an example of incorporating popular data science libraries and frameworks into these enterprise platforms, providing a consistent data science user experience across the hybrid cloud .
  • Optimized support: IBM Technology Support Services offers IBM z16 customers turnkey support to foretell and prevent unplanned outages, and technical services that streamline the way businesses take advantage of the opportunity of hybrid technology environments.

With IBM z16, IBM used a highly collaborative, customer-centric approach that deeply involved hundreds of people from more than 70 clients, a practice that is already underway for the company's future mainframe systems. The IBM z16 will be available from May 31, 2022.

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