IBM plans to enhance its product offerings in the computer security market and will spend $1.5 billion for the development and marketing of security products in 2008.
It plans to offer a broader security package to enterprises to reduce their dependence on smaller security software providers. The security initiative will be centered on compliance and content control, including application security, identity and access management, and physical security to manage risk across enterprises.
Steps IBM has already taken in this field include acquiring Internet Security Systems (ISS) for $41.2 billion in October 2006 and Watchfire for approximately $100 million in July 2007. It plans to integrate these acquired technologies with its in-house application security capabilities. Watchfire technology is expected to complement the existing IBM Tivoli identity, access and compliance management offerings while ISS would enhance its position in the managed security services market.
In association with Watchfire, IBM has developed a new web application security and online compliance management software, which mitigates risks associated with data breaches through sourcing vulnerabilities. It also promises to support mainframe security and update the z/OS operating system to protect sensitive information.
IBM also added intrusion prevention system (IPS)-based data inspection features to its Proventia Network IPS line of products. Companies such as Application Security, Fidelis Security System, PGP and Verdasys have also collaborated with IBM in developing services to prevent data loss due to insider abuse and enhance audit preparedness with assessment, monitoring and alerting for non-compliant database activities. These services also include endpoint data protection and enterprise content protection.
IBM plans to manage security in-house instead of outsourcing to other security firms and intends to grow inorganically in the security space. We’re looking at a lot of different companies right now, as we always do in a number of different spaces within security, said Val Rahmani, general manager of infrastructure management for global technology services at IBM.
IBM’s move has evoked strong reactions from smaller pure-play security companies such as McAfee and CheckPoint. These companies claim that they can focus on security and get an advantage over larger diversified technology companies. Other IT vendors such as EMC, CA, HP, and Microsoft are also planning to enter this market. According to Datamonitor, the securities market was worth $14 billion in 2006 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% between 2006 and 2010.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates