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IBM Launches Hardened z13s Mainframe for Hybrid Clouds

IBM z13s Photo

IBM today announced an updated version of its z13 mainframe, optimized for hybrid cloud environments and designed to provide mid-sized organizations with powerful data encryption capabilities and increased system performance.

The new IBM z13s was built to help businesses secure critical information and transactions and includes advanced cryptography features built into the hardware that allows customers to encrypt and decrypt data twice as fast as previous generation systems.

Launched as the new entry point to the z Systems portfolio, IBM’s z13s packs updated cryptographic and tamper-resistant hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards for increased performance. Moreover, it comes with a beta version of the z Systems Cyber Security Analytics offering at no additional cost.

Designed to learn user behavior to detect anomalous patterns on the platform, the solution alerts admins when potentially malicious activities have been detected. Combined with the IBM Security QRadar security software, z Systems provide end-to-end protection based on advanced analytics, IBM says.

Customers can also benefit from the IBM Multi-factor Authentication for z/OS (MFA), meant to add an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification, such as a PIN or randomly generated token. The MFA has been tightly integrated in the operating system, which is expected to result in a more streamlined configuration and better stability and performance.

The new z13s mainframe integrates IBM Security solutions, which should address security issues such as privileged identity management, sensitive data protection and integrated security intelligence in hybrid cloud environments. For that, customers would take advantage of solutions such as IBM Security Identity Governance and Intelligence, IBM Security Guardium, and IBM Security zSecure and QRadar.

In addition to the new mainframe, IBM announced expanded security partner ecosystem, as more software applications from various ISVs are integrating their solutions for z Systems. According to IBM, the program’s extension to z Systems will result in an additional layer of protection, as well as access governance to critical applications, resources and data residing on the mainframe.

Some of the companies already offering solutions for the platform include BlackRidge Technology, which specializes in in identity-based security, along with Forcepoint (formerly Raytheon|Websense), which can secure sensitive data at the endpoint courtesy of its Trusted Thin Client.

“Fast and secure transaction processing is core to the IBM mainframe, helping clients grow their digital business in a hybrid cloud environment. With the new IBM z13s, clients no longer have to choose between security and performance. This speed of secure transactions, coupled with new analytics technology helping to detect malicious activity and integrated IBM Security offerings, will help mid-sized clients grow their organization with peace of mind,” Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems, said.

The new IBM z13s will become available next month. Customers will be able to upgrade from older models to the z13s and have the option to convert an owned z system to leasing while upgrading or acquiring a new z13s.

Related: IBM Launches New Threat Sharing Platform

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