On Thursday, IBM an international tech company, announced IBM z16, a Telum processor that allows clients to infuse AI inferencing for real-time insights. This innovation is designed to enable clients to analyse real-time transactions, at scale — for mission-critical workloads such as credit card, healthcare, and financial transactions.

IBM z16 also is specifically designed to help protect against near-future threats that might be used to crack today’s encryption technologies.

“IBM z16 is an essential component for organisations across the African continent as they accelerate their digital transformation journey. By simplifying hybrid cloud adoption, modernizing applications, and keeping data safe, encrypted, and resilient – clients can have the cloud they want, with the privacy and security they need,” says Julia Carvalho, GM at IBM Africa Growth Markets.

“IBM z16 delivers breakthrough technologies for AI and cyber resiliency – making it a crucial platform for any digital transformation,” she says.

Real-time enterprise AI 

Financial institutions worldwide struggle with the impacts of fraudulent activities on their revenues and consumer interactions. IBM z16 brings together AI inferencing, via its IBM Telum Processor. Inferencing refers to the act of using a neural network to provide insights after it has been trained.

This innovation will allow banks to analyse for fraud during transactions on a massive scale. IBM z16 can process 300 billion inference requests per day, the company says.

For consumers, this could mean reducing the time and energy required to handle fraudulent transactions on their credit cards. For both merchants and card issuers, this could mean a reduction in revenue loss as consumers could 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 for governments and businesses to control. Real-time payments and alternative payment methods like cryptocurrencies are pushing the limits on traditional fraud detection techniques.

IBM z16’s new capabilities will help create a new class of use cases, including:

  • Loan approval: to speed up approval of business or consumer loans
  • Clearing and settlement: to determine which trades and/or transactions may have a high-risk exposure before settlement
  • Federated learning for retail: to better model risk against fraud and theft

Securing data  

In a hybrid cloud environment inclusive of on-premises and public cloud resources, it is critical to protect against today’s threats and posture against cybercriminals who may be stealing data now for decryption later. IBM uses technologies like Pervasive Encryption and Confidential Computing, to protect data against future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing.

As a quantum-safe system, IBM z16 is underpinned by lattice-based cryptography, an approach for constructing security primitives that help protect data and systems against current and future threats. With IBM z16 quantum-safe cryptography, businesses can future-ready their applications and data today.

IBM z16’s also has a secure boot (meaning that bad actors cannot inject malware into the boot process to take over the system during startup) and quantum-safe cryptography to help clients address future quantum-computing related threats including harvest now, decrypt later attacks which can lead to extortion, loss of intellectual property and disclosure of other sensitive data.

Modernizing for hybrid cloud 

“IBM has spent the last three years making significant investments in service of our commitment to embracing open-source technology on the IBM zSystems platform and establishing a common developer experience across the hybrid cloud,” IBM says.

“These solutions are designed to help our clients leverage their investments in — and the strengths of — their existing IT infrastructure, clouds, and applications in a seamless way, while giving them the flexibility to run, build, manage and modernize cloud-native workloads on their choice of architecture,” it says.

IBM z16 will be generally available on 31 May 2022.

Edited by Zintle Nkohla

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