IBM expands ISS network security services

IBM has announced a set of actions to add to its security solutions that can help clients save costs while navigating security threats created by a global economic slowdown, cybercriminal activity, and legacy security infrastructures.

The actions by IBM's Internet Security Systems (ISS) division were prompted after IBM X-Force, a team of security experts, detected two startling developments. First, they identified a 30 percent increase in network and web-based security events over the last 120 days, with the total number rising from 1.8 billion to more than 2.5 billion worldwide per day, according to data pulled from its managed security services client base of approximately 3700 clients worldwide. Second, IBM detected a 40 percent increase within the last 120 days in its client's access of IBM virtual security operations centers. IBM's managed security services clients -- businesses and governments around the world -- can use the virtual operations centers (VSOC's) to monitor and verify network and web-based attacks. A significant portion of the increase came from clients that had not previously logged in to the security operations centers in more than six months.

In response to the findings, IBM said its ISS will:

-Introduce identity and access management services that help combat online threats. These services help organizations define system users and manage who has access to sensitive data and applications, increasingly vital as the IBM X-Force Quarterly Report released in early December shows more than 42 percent of vulnerabilities are caused by weaknesses in access and identity management.

-For the first time, offer a formal program that enables providers to resell managed security services. Under this program, providers would be able to offer IBM-backed managed security services, further expanding customers who can benefit from IBM's global expertise.

-Offer a financial assessment of a company or government's security infrastructure management costs and the savings attributed to implementing IBM's security services.