Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IBM's ISS Buy Smacks of Services Play

IBM's scooping up of threat-prevention pioneer Internet Security Systems (ISS) -- for $1.3 billion today -- in an instant establishes Big Blue as one of the most formidable players in the IT security market.

The acquisition, announced jointly by IBM and ISS executives, brings into IBM a stable of intrusion prevention and other security software and appliances, filling major gaps in the Armonk, N.Y.-based giant's portfolio. But perhaps more significantly, ISS gives IBM a platform from which to deliver managed security services, a major area of IT growth as more companies choose to outsource their security needs in the face of escalating costs.

"This is about delivering security in pre-emptive, scalable, cost-effective way," said Valerie Rahmani, general manager of infrastructure management services at IBM. "We want to create the world leader in Net security services."

Rahmani said the ISS acquisition, once gaining regulatory approval, will further IBM's growth ambitions in the security market, and in particular bolsters its managed security services strategy. She cited estimates of a $22 billion of untapped opportunity among customers that are finally reaching a level of comfort with the idea of letting outside experts handle their security and compliance needs.

ISS CEO Tom Noonan echoed those sentiments. "The next generation of security is a model whereby the vast majority [of protection] is delivered as services over an extensible, open platform," he said, adding that ISS' flagship security appliances and software are really just enabling technologies for the services model.

  • 1