IBM Creates Breach Response Team With Resilient Systems Acquisition

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The acquisition is part of IBM’s efforts to expand its four-year-old security services unit

IBM shas agreed to acquire hack response firm Resilient Systems as part of its launch of its own worldwide incident response service.

The acquisition, timed to coincide with this week’s RSA Security Conference, gives IBM an extensive integrated end-to-end security operations and incident response platform with capabilities extending from analytics to forensics and vulnerability management to incident response.


Incident response

ibmFurther adding to the platform’s capabilities is a new partnership with Carbon Black, which provides a detailed incident record that allows companies to track attacks back to their point of origin and trace their impact across the organisation.

The deals are part of IBM’s strategy to expand its security division, which it formed four years ago with the acquisition of QRadar, which makes a platform helping organisations to detect and prevent breaches. IBM Security now has more than 7,000 employees, adding 1,000 staff in 2015, and drew $2 billion in revenues last year, the company said.

Resilient had announced last week the integration of its incident response team with the QRadar X-Force security platform. IBM paid roughly $100m for Resilient, according to widely reported rumours, but financial terms weren’t officially disclosed.

“By combining, the market now has access to the leading prevention, detection and response technologies available in the same portfolio,” stated Resilient co-founder and chief executive John Bruce.

IBM said it plans to use Resilient and its roughly 100 staff – among them security expert Bruce Schneier – as the cornerstone of a new unit called X-Force Incident Response Services, which is to help organisations plan for, manage and respond to cyberattacks, drawing on the skills of about 3,000 consultants and security researchers worldwide.

Damage control

“By adding Resilient Systems’ technology and expertise, IBM will have an industry-leading range of capabilities to help clients respond to cyber breaches, across consulting, services, and products,” said IBM Security general manager Marc van Zadelhoff in a statement.

Resilient, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says it counts 30 of the Fortune 500 companies amongst its customers, as well as numerous medium-sized businesses in areas including financial services, healthcare, retail, federal government, manufacturing and education.

IBM has been buying its way into growth industries such as security, data analytics and cloud services while selling off slower-growing units, but has nevertheless recorded 15 consecutive quarters of declining revenues.

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