In a deal announced today, IBM is buying Trusteer, a software security company with offices in both Boston and Tel Aviv. Since its founding in 2006, Trusteer has made an impressive mark on the top U.S. and U.K. banks using its security solutions against fraud and cyberattacks.
As a technology services powerhouse, IBM is no stranger to the importance of avoiding serious consequences of losing customer confidence due to security threats to business networks, business and employee computers, web applications and mobile devices.
If corporate experts are becoming more sophisticated about protective techniques, well, so are attackers, in thinking up ways to bypass security controls. As exploits become smarter, traditional approaches toward securing business and mobile are no longer valid.
Headed for R&D
IBM's tie with Trusteer is going further than simply a technology product weave into IBM's existing products. Thursday's announcement also said that Trusteer and IBM will form a security software lab in Israel.
The plan is to involve over 200 Trusteer and IBM researchers and developers to focus on cybersecurity. They will work on such matters as counter-fraud and malware detection.
Driving IBM toward Trusteer is the latter's ability to protect against financial fraud and cyberattacks that traditional security software can miss.
Trusteer refers to its SaaS (software-as-a-service) architecture as capable of delivering "real-time threat intelligence" to over 30 million endpoints around the world that are leveraging its capabilities.
These endpoint defense capabilities attract banks, which can protect their own customers, in an environment where security is always a challenge.
Advancing IBM's Game Plan
The Trusteer architecture complements IBM's cloud competencies and IBM's investment in its own business growth. In June, the tech giant announced its intention to acquire SoftLayer, a company that can accelerate IBM's ability to integrate public and private clouds for its clients.
To ink its own deals with business and government, IBM needs to sell both software and security expertise, at a time when online cybercrime could have a whopping impact on how much trust IT decision makers in businesses want to place on cloud-service providers.
IBM said Trusteer will complement its portfolio of counter-fraud software and services. These include QRadar, i2, SPSS, InfoSphere and Enterprise Content Management.
Trusteer can also expand IBM's existing security research power, "most notably IBM X-Force," said Brendan Hannigan of the IBM Security Systems Division in the IBM Software Group, in a posting on IBM's Security Intelligence blog.
The IBM X-Force researches and monitors the latest Internet threat trends and develops security content for IBM customers. The X-Force also helps advise customers and the general public on how to respond to threats.