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IBM Helps Organizations Secure Vulnerable Smartphones, Meters, and More

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Steve Robinson to industry: The proliferation of intelligent systems is creating new security loopholes that businesses must address.

IBM has announced new initiatives to extend security to the growing number of mobile and instrumented devices beyond an organization's own four walls, such as smartphones, ATMs, retail kiosks, traffic systems, meters, buildings and sensors.

By 2015, it's estimated that there will be one trillion connected devices, many of which will be instrumented with real-time capabilities to respond quickly and accurately to the environment. While this intelligence provides great opportunities, it is also creating emerging security vulnerabilities that companies need to address. Businesses today are tasked with managing thousands of computing devices and ensuring they remain available, secure and at their proper configurations according to policies and requirements. As the risks associated with securing these endpoints grows more complex, the cost of managing and securing them is escalating rapidly. IDC expects that the endpoint security market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3 percent and reach nearly $10 billion in 2014.(1)

Today, IBM is unveiling new research projects, software, and services partnerships to help organizations better manage the security of their increasingly intelligent, interconnected and intelligent infrastructures.  Highlights include:

  • New endpoint management software to secure PCs, laptops and point-of-sale devices such as ATMs and retail kiosks
  • Investments in R&D to secure mobile smartphones such as Android-based devices, and smart meters
  • New joint work with Juniper Networks to deliver security services for mobile devices

"From electrical grids to mobile devices, transportation systems and buildings, the proliferation of these intelligent systems is creating new security loopholes that businesses need to address," said Steve Robinson, general manager, IBM Security Solutions. "On today's smarter planet, everything is an endpoint, and must be managed and secured like any other critical business asset."

Computing endpoints are proliferating daily to include sensors, water systems, mobile devices, cars, electric grids, transportation systems and cities. As corporate infrastructures continue to interact with these endpoints, which reside outside of their organization, the demand for greater security controls is growing.

Protecting Endpoints throughout the Enterprise

IBM today is announcing Tivoli Endpoint Manager, a new offering that integrates the assets acquired with BigFix into the IBM portfolio. The software extends IBM's capabilities to manage the security and compliance of servers, desktops, roaming laptops, and point-of-sale devices, such as ATMs and self-service kiosks.

The new offering combines endpoint and security management into a single solution and enables organizations to see and manage physical and virtual endpoints. Now, clients can better secure and manage their IT assets and gain visibility, control and automation into their most time-intensive IT tasks, such as asset inventory and patch management. Tivoli Endpoint Manager can be deployed in days for any network size or configuration and can identify which devices are not in compliance with corporate IT policies and recommend security fixes and timely software updates to 500,000 machines in a matter of minutes. The new software can also display all of an organization's virtual and physical assets in a single view to help locate, manage and protect these systems.

Protecting Mobile Devices

While the influx of personal mobile devices on corporate networks is bringing convenience and efficiency to many employees and companies, it can also raise concerns for organizations as they struggle to manage the security risks associated with these new devices accessing their networks. To enable clients to more securely manage their mobile workforce:

  • IBM Security Services and Business Partner, Juniper Networks, are delivering joint security services for mobile devices for leading platforms such as Apple iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS and Windows through the Juniper Networks Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite. This fully managed service goes beyond securing mobile devices, and also integrates policy-based enforcement that prevents these smartphones from accessing key corporate resources unless required security policies and applications are in place. The service is designed to use IBM's worldwide managed security services capability along with critical mobile security management technology from Juniper to optimize a client's security operations in order to maintain compliance and secure information assets from Internet attacks, often at a fraction of in-house security resources and regardless of device type or vendor.  
  • IBM researchers and developers are also prototyping new technologies to seamlessly manage security and compliance challenges involving mobile smart phones, such as Android-based devices. Using a single management platform, organizations will be able to extend management across any mobile device on their network.   With the ability to install in minutes, customers will quickly be able to remotely set policies, monitor employees devices to identify potential data compromise and wipe data off the devices if they are lost or stolen.

Protecting Instrumented Endpoints - Smart Meters

In another R&D project, IBM researchers are also identifying ways to help customers secure instrumented endpoints for smart electrical meters. By 2015, it is expected that more than 300 million smart meters will be deployed worldwide.(2) While smart meters have great potential for cost-savings and efficiency, their ability to sense and interact with other devices can also cause them to be vulnerable to security breaches if not managed correctly. Through this new project, IBM is now able to demonstrate for clients how software can be used to manage and secure a meter remotely, while helping to ensure they are also tamper proof.

IBM Security Solutions

IBM Security Solutions include an extensive portfolio of hardware, software solutions, professional and managed services offerings covering the spectrum of IT and business security risks. This includes: people and identity, data and information, application and process, network, server and endpoint and physical infrastructure. IBM Security Solutions empower clients to innovate and operate their businesses on highly secure infrastructure platforms.

Following the acquisitions of Watchfire, Ounce Labs, Telelogic, and BigFix, IBM continues to grow its portfolio of capabilities designed to strengthen the security of smarter devices. With more than 40-years of security development and innovation, IBM is the only company with the breadth and depth of research, products, services, consulting and global business partners to deliver end-to-end security.  IBM has nine worldwide research labs innovating security technology and nine security operations centers around the world to help global clients maintain the appropriate security posture.

For more information on IBM Security Solutions, visit: http://www.ibm.com/security and http://www.ibm.com/press/security.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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