IBM's services arm beefs up security package

IBM Global Services is set to roll out four managed security offerings for its Web-hosting customers.

IBM Global Services is set to roll out four managed security offerings for its Web-hosting customers.

The security services will address full-time management of intrusion detection, firewall operation, vulnerability assessment and analysis and customer automated monitoring of systems, said a company spokesman.

IBM Global Services consultants and IBM Research analysts developed the latest additions to IBM's portfolio of customised security services. The offerings develop IBM Global Services' security services initiative, which the company launched in July.

The latest offerings include vulnerability assessment, to gauge a company's enterprise weaknesses and exploitable access points across multiple systems; hosted intrusion detection, to help defend perimeters from a variety of known computer threats; managed firewall service, to provide round-the-clock Web site protection; and verification services that allow Web-hosting customers to automate the monitoring of security systems to test existing server protection and vulnerability.

Jeff Wenger, chief technology officer and vice-president of Tax Technologies, employs IBM Global Services' hosted security offering to complement its redundant backup security architecture. Tax Technologies offers tax and financial information for Fortune 500 companies.

Because of Tax Technologies' highly sensitive data and large IT corporate makeup, Wenger said a managed security approach is the best way to stay on top of developing threats and the latest defence measures.

Security threats are "not the type of thing you mess around with and it's not something you can fall asleep on", said Wenger, who added that managed security "allows our staff to do what we do best and stay focused on our clients".

IBM's "credibility factor" is usually the selling point for customers that closely examine the security underpinnings of Tax Technologies' hosted service before signing on the dotted line, Wenger said.

"Before, we always deployed applications directly into clients' intranets. We did not consider putting up a hosted offering without having a partner that could deliver security. Customers accept IBM as a [security] vendor," he said.

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