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IBM opens cyber security hub in India

Big Blue’s new cyber security hub, comprising a cyber range, software development facilities and a security operations centre, will serve enterprises across the Asia-Pacific region

IBM has opened a new cyber security hub in India to help enterprises in Asia-Pacific guard against cyber attacks, which have intensified across the region.

Speaking at the launch of the hub, Sandip Patel, managing director for IBM India and South Asia, said the facility – the first of its kind in the region – is a major investment that will provide hands-on training for business and technology teams to help them strengthen their organisation’s security posture, as well as identify, manage and mitigate cyber attacks.

Situated in Bangalore, the cyber security hub, comprising a cyber range, software development facilities and a security operations centre (SOC), will serve IBM customers in India and across the Asia-Pacific region.

“The SOC is the convergence of all our security solutions and joins our vast network of existing SOCs around the world,” said Patel. “It will provide 24/7 security response services to clients and is staffed by IBM managed security service experts who are part of the global network that manages more than two million endpoints and 150 billion potential security events on a daily basis.”

Patel said IBM’s SOC capabilities are powered by the company’s X-Force platform, which combines various artificial intelligence tools, such as Watson, to advise and assist analysts in analysing threats and compiling threat and mitigation information.

IBM also uses a specialised tool called advanced threat disposition scoring to help clients handle and automate billions of security alerts, he added.

At the cyber range, organisations will receive immersive training simulations that incorporate ransomware, malware and other real-world attacks and hacking tools, along with a slew of incident response activities. IBM has been operating one other cyber range in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 2016.

“What we found through experience was that organisations needed to build leadership in crisis, and effective response teams require a mix of technical skills, legal precision and regulatory understanding, as well as a robust crisis communications plan,” said Chris Hockings, chief technology officer at IBM Security in Asia-Pacific.

Hockings said the new cyber range establishes an environment that will build pressure on individuals and teams, put their skills to the test and identify blind spots for improvement in a safe environment, without fear of consequence or failure. “It’s much better to do it in this environment, rather than when your stock price is falling or when your citizens are becoming restless,” he said.

According to IBM’s latest X-Force threat intelligence index, Asia-Pacific was the most attacked region, experiencing more than one in four attacks observed globally in 2021. Japan, Australia and India were the most attacked countries in the region.

Server access attacks (20%) and ransomware (11%) were the top two types of attack in Asia last year, followed by data theft (10%). IBM said the high percentage of server access attacks in the region suggests that Asian organisations are adept at identifying attacks quickly before they escalate.

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