IBM Launches New Network Security Appliance


IBM is offering a more detailed insight into an organisation’s IT security thanks to its new network security appliance

IBM has launched a new class of network security appliance that delivers greater insight into an organisation’s IT security. It also delivers a simplified security management interface.

The IBM appliance helps enterprises control new risks posed by social media and web browsing, IBM said. The new next-generation intrusion prevention appliance helps users address advanced attacks targeting their organisation, providing visibility into exactly what applications are being used on the network, where users are going on the Web, with the ability to monitor and control this activity, resulting in improved security and reduced operational costs, IBM said.

Greater Visibility

The new IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5000 builds on the core security features found in IBM Security Network Intrusion Prevention System, including protection for “zero-day” exploits, by adding new levels of visibility and control over the network, applications, data and users to improve security by preventing misuse and identifying previously undetectable threats.

IBM’s Network Security Protection incorporates global threat intelligence from X-Force, including a web filter database of over 15 billion URLs – capable of monitoring and categorising millions of web servers and applications each day to provide superior protection against the changing threat landscape. Once organisations are aware of the nature of activity on their network, the new application control features enable users to have granular control over what is happening on their network; this means granular user and group-level control over which applications and websites are permitted, and how they are used down to individual actions or activities within these applications and sites, IBM said.

“The escalation of targeted attacks and rapid adoption of mobility, cloud and social media requires companies to take a new approach to securing the enterprise,” said Brendan Hannigan, general manager of the IBM Security Systems Division, in a statement. “IBM is uniquely positioned to help our customers address these challenges with our new Advanced Threat Protection Platform that combines total security intelligence from within the enterprise, exhaustive external threat intelligence and the new XGS appliance that delivers fine-grained activity detection and control.”

Indeed, IBM says the appliance’s integration with IBM’s Advanced Threat Protection Platform, which utilizes anomaly detection and event correlation capabilities, enables users to better address more complex attacks such as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). IBM Security customers can also choose tightly integrated solutions that use optimised security products and Security Intelligence tools, including analytics. In addition, IBM’s Managed Security Services can provide constant monitoring and management of a customer’s IT environment to augment or replace in-house expertise, IBM said.

Threat Protection

“IBM Security Network Protection gives us a better view of our security posture and what is taking place on our network,” said Peter Param, manager of network and security at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Australia, in a statement. “With more than 1,000 distinct users, as well as sizable traffic from streaming video and social media sites, knowing which employees are authorised to access particular sites throughout the day, as well as knowing which applications are being used on our network, is critical in optimizing it as well as increasing our security posture.”

The IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5000 is the newest addition to IBM’s Advanced Threat Protection Platform. The solution helps protect against network-based threats masked in common network traffic, and prevents attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities at the network, host and application layers, IBM said.

IBM also said its protection engine is built upon years of security intelligence gathered by X-Force Research, and can stop entire classes of attacks – including new and unknown threats – without updates. Unlike the IBM offering, most solutions available today match individual protection signatures – a process that is too slow to stop evolving threats and results in higher rates of false positives and false negatives, the company said.

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