Security Experts:

IBM Launches Initiatives to Help Secure the Exploding World of Connected Devices

With an estimated one trillion devices that will be connected to the Internet by 2015, security vulnerabilities are emerging that companies need to address. Recognizing this trend, IBM today announced initiatives to extend security to the growing number of mobile and instrumented devices beyond an organization’s own walls, such as smartphones, ATMs, retail kiosks, traffic systems, meters, buildings and sensors.

IBMMany of these newly connected devices will be instrumented with real-time capabilities to respond quickly and accurately to the environment. Although this intelligence provides great opportunities, it is also creating new threats.

IT managers 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. According to IDC, the endpoint security market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% and reach nearly $10 billion in 2014. With today's announcement, 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.

 Related Reading > 2010 Device Integrity Report: U.S. Unprepared for Internet Device Flood

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 Android-based smartphones and smart meters;

• New joint work with Juniper to deliver security services for mobile devices;

Computing endpoints are proliferating daily to include sensors, water systems, mobile devices. cars, electric grids, transportation systems, cities, etc. 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

Tivoli Endpoint Manager, a new offering, integrates the assets acquired by 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. With the solution, 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

Gartner Research predicts mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common device worldwide by 2013. And by 2014, 90 percent of organizations will support corporate applications on these personal devices. 

Related: Mobile & Smart Device Security Survey 2010 - Concern Grows as Vulnerable Devices Proliferate

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 Juniper’s Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite.

Protecting Instrumented Endpoints—Smart Meters

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. 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. This project will also be able to illustrate how the same security capabilities can be delivered to other smart systems, such as buildings, transportation systems and mobile devices.

view counter