IBM Grabs Q1 Labs and Creates New Security Division
October 10, 2011 Jenny Thomas
If the security of your company’s data isn’t a top item on your priority list, it’s becoming clear that IBM thinks it should be. Big Blue’s recent announcement of its acquisition of Q1 Labs, a provider of security intelligence software, is another in a string of clues that IBM is going to be putting a lot of emphasis on security.
Another clue is that with the Q1 acquisition, IBM also revealed a new Security Systems division that aims to blend security and analytics. According to IBM estimates, the Security Systems division will target a $94 billion opportunity in security software and services, which has a nearly 12 percent compound annual growth rate.
Q1 Labs is one of 10 strategic security acquisitions and more than 25 analytics-related purchases that IBM has made in the last decade, including a recent buy of security analytics software firm, i2.
Q1 Labs, was a privately held company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that provides security software for analyzing events and delivering event monitoring via a dashboard. The company has more than 1,800 customers around the world that include clients in the healthcare, energy, retail, utility, financial, government, educational, and wireless service provider fields. Q1 Labs’ employees are located in Waltham, Massachusetts; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2011, and once it is, Q1 will become part of IBM’s Software Group, where the Security Systems division is located.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As you can see, IBM is not just focusing on securing IT assets, but on analyzing what is going on in networks and systems and outside the corporate firewall on the Internet to do proactive and preventive security. Q1 Labs software detects and flags security issues from hundreds of sources across an organization including the network, applications, mobile endpoints, and physical security devices such as badge readers, from both cloud-based and on-premise sources. Its security information and event management (SIEM) software also helps IT staff and auditors manage the tracking of security incidents and model risk to better protect customers, while giving executives insight into the security and risk posture of the organization.
Brendan Hannigan, CEO of Q1 Labs, has been named as the new leader of IBM’s Security Systems division (once the deal has closed), and he says it’s about getting ahead of the threats.
“Since perimeter defense alone is no longer capable of thwarting all threats, IBM is in a unique position to shift security thinking to an integrated, predictive approach,” said Hannigan.
IBM says the design behind its new Security Systems division is to integrate Big Blue’s Tivoli, Rational, and information management security software, appliances, lab offerings, and services. With the addition of Q1’s advanced analytics and correlation capabilities, which can automatically detect and flag actions across an enterprise that deviate from prescribed policies and typical behavior, such as an employee accessing unauthorized information, IBM will offer greater security intelligence capabilities and help prevent breaches.
Although the Security Systems division is a new focus for IBM, security has long been a hot button for the company. IBM currently operates nine security operations centers, nine IBM Research centers, 11 software security development labs, and three Institutes for Advanced Security. Big Blue also says it currently monitors 12 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries and holds 3,000 security patents.
No one is immune from cyber attack, whether it be at the hands of external or internal forces. The bottom line is, if you haven’t done so already, take a hint from IBM and put the security of your company’s data at the top of your priority list.