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IBM Focuses On Endpoint Security

After purchasing BigFix last July, IBM has announced that it is integrating the functionality of BigFix into Tivoli Endpoint Manager, which will let users manage the security and compliance of servers, desktops, roaming laptops and point-of-sale devices such as ATMs and self-service kiosks. The company also said that it would be working with Juniper Networks to help develop joint security services for mobile devices, such as those running Apple's iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows operating systems. IBM is also researching management support for devices such as smart meters.

IBM is doing this because of the rapid growth of such devices in the market and concern about their security, says Marc van Zadelhoff, worldwide director of strategy for IBM security solutions. By 2015, IBM expects 1 trillion mobile devices and 300 million smart meters, he says. IBM also quoted IDC statistics predicting that the endpoint security market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3 percent and reach nearly $10 billion in 2014.

Tivoli Endpoint Manager combines endpoint and security management and lets users see and manage both physical and virtual endpoints. It can also identify which devices are not in compliance with corporate IT policies, and recommend security fixes and software updates.

The product supports functionality such as the ability to provision data security, set up virtual private networks and perform encryption, van Zadelhoff says. The Tivoli Endpoint Manager product is a software platform, while the collaboration with Juniper will eventually extend the software platform to Android and other devices, van Zadelhoff says.

Until then, device functionality such as VPN, firewall, data security, protection from Internet attacks and policy-based enforcement will be provided via the cloud through the Juniper Networks Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite. IBM is also working on similar capabilities such as remotely setting policies, monitoring employee devices to identity data compromises, and erasing data from devices should they become lost or stolen.

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