With data breaches making headlines nearly every week, IBM is pressing into next-generation security solutions with what it has deemed the industry’s first “intelligent security portfolio” for protecting people, data and apps in the cloud. If the Dynamic Cloud Security portfolio works like Big Blue claims, it may be a big hit with enterprises looking to shore up their defenses, through the help of analytics.
Here’s the backdrop: Businesses of all sizes are rapidly adopting the cloud but struggle to secure their legacy IT systems in an age of cyberattacks that are increasingly difficult to detect and more sophisticated than ever. IBM’s research shows 75 percent of data breaches take days, weeks or months to discover, which magnifies the potential damage.
“Customers are now moving critical workloads to the cloud and they expect enterprise grade security to move with it,” said Brendan Hannigan, General Manager of IBM Security Systems. “We have pivoted our entire security portfolio to the cloud to help customers lock down user access, control data and maintain visibility. With the right visibility into threats, enterprises can more securely connect their people, data and processes to the cloud."
Anybody Can Use These Tools
While 85 percent of nearly 150 chief information security information officers in an IBM survey said their organizations are moving to cloud, nearly half expect a major cloud provider to experience a security breach. Even in the face of these concerns, critical workloads processing customer and sensitive data continue making their way to the cloud.
The new intelligent security portfolio aims to protect data and apps using advanced analytics across the enterprise, public and private clouds and mobile devices, generally referred to as the hybrid cloud model. The tools promise insight into exactly who is using the cloud, what data users are tapping into, and the location from which they are accessing it.
Both developers and line-of-business executives can use the tools, which leverage analytics and security intelligence for public cloud services like IBM’s SoftLayer. The tool set also features Big Blue’s Managed Security Services platform that works to help secure the cloud, and offers intelligence from over 20 billion daily security events to detect and protect against threats in real time.
Securing Bifurcated Apps
We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on the announcement. He told us the IBM cloud security announcement is intriguing.
Beyond surveys, his experience in the market confirms that hybrid clouds leveraging privately owned data center assets and public cloud services are preferred by the majority of businesses using the cloud. However, significant challenges remain in effectively securing the “bifurcated” applications and data companies are supporting with hybrid clouds.
“IBM's new security offerings and analytics solutions aim to make that process easier and more effective by keeping a close eye on both individual customers' cloud interactions and the 20 billion-plus daily security events it monitors in 130 countries,” King said. “The company's ability to support what amounts to a micro/macro view of security should be welcomed by many customers.”
The Dynamic Cloud Security portfolio follows Big Blue’s announcement last week of IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analytics, a high-speed analysis and criminal investigation software that aims to uncover hidden threats buried deep inside mountains of corporate data from various sources.