IBM is to expand its security and technology services through a new global initiative. The two-pronged initiative will align offerings within an expanded global services practice and create a new corporate-level global solutions office to address broader issues.
The company has also announced an important addition to its e-business security and privacy services by aligning with Kroll, a global provider of specialized security offerings that include corporate security, crisis management and business and asset protection.
Together, they will provide a security protection package that includes a physical security assessment, an IT infrastructure security assessment, gap analysis and 'next steps' for companies that want to help protect against physical and cyber intrusion, espionage and business interruptions or loss.
As part of the new security and technology services initiative, IBM Global Services will harness the expertise of 3,000 security consultants, implementation experts, engineers and technology architects, as well as nearly 100 researchers from IBM Research. They will work as a team to deliver safety and security solutions to businesses and the public sector.
Security and privacy service offerings currently include: assessments, security architecture, planning and design, implementation, management and outsourcing, and all interface with business continuity and disaster recovery solutions.
New offerings range from enhanced intrusion detection and vulnerability assessments, to security policy assessments and managed firewall services for hosted customers; from scalable virtual private networking services, authentication services, content delivery, mobile connectivity, public wireless local area networks and cabling systems to a one-day class for corporate officers to assess what areas their organization should focus on to beef up safety and security.
The global services safety and security practice will be led by general manager Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair to deliver the most comprehensive security offerings in the industry.
"We have evolved new offerings to meet changing market conditions in a new, hardened environment," said Mitchell-Sinclair. "Customers who used to ask for 'piece part' services now want us to pull it all together for them, to provide a total assessment. In addition, we're seeing customers placing a higher priority on prevention."
At the corporate level, the new office of Global Security Solutions will be headed by Elizabeth Primrose-Smith, IBM's new vice president of global security solutions, who formerly headed up IBM's involvement in the Olympic Games.
"Customers want guidance regarding emerging government and societal issues," Primrose-Smith said. "Today's environment demands more than traditional security and protection measures. New international legal and security issues are emerging every day.
"The global security solutions office will be the central coordination point for security technology, trends and solutions across our corporation, across geographies. And, we're adding new areas and specializations, such as biometrics and biohazards."
IBM has long been ranked a top provider of security services and technology by IDC and Gartner. Independent organizations and researchers have found that security has been a top concern since early this year and a significantly heightened concern since September 11, 2001:
- About one out of five companies are reviewing major technology expenditures following September 11th and many expect to boost spending on disaster recovery, security and backup software (Morgan Stanley survey, October 2001)
- Security services providers should "prepare to address increased demand for assistance in security assessments, awareness training, infrastructure upgrades and response planning" (Gartner, September 2001)
- Protecting sensitive data and resources was the number one concern among SHARE members in the 2001 Strategic Concerns Survey
In addition to conducting enterprise wide safety and security assessments, IBM has mobilized solutions targeting the financial, travel and transportation industries as well as the public sector. In the airlines industry, for example, new techniques have been identified for managing safety and security. These range from emerging technologies in biometrics to managed security services.
IBM's safety and security initiative will utilize such global resources as the Global Security Analysis Lab in New York and Zurich; the Wireless Center of Competency in La Gaude, France; Security Competency Centers in Raleigh, North Carolina and Austin, Texas; and the Managed Security Services Center, Boulder, Colorado. Nearly 100 researchers around the world are dedicated to security-related technologies.