IBM this week unveiled a new penetration testing group that will operate under its security services division to help customers uncover security gaps in their networks.
The new “IBM X-Force Red” team is a group of ethical hackers that will pound the virtual walls of companies in an effort to discover vulnerabilities in their networks, hardware, and applications.
Led by pen testing guru Charles Henderson, who previously served as VP of Managed Security Testing at Trustwave, the X-Force Red team consists of hundreds of security professionals scattered across dozens of locations around the world.
In addition to searching for software vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, the team will help test the human element, by performing phishing and social media attack simulations, along with physical security tests to determine the risks associated with in-person interactions.
“Having a machine scan your servers and source code is a great step to help prevent data breaches, but the human element of security testing cannot be overlooked,” said Henderson.
IBM says X-Force Red can engage with customers via three different billing models: individual projects, subscriptions, and managed testing programs—all which include vulnerability analytics to help measure the impact of the security testing programs.
In May, IBM announced Watson for Security, an initiative to leverage IBM’s cognitive computing technology to help analysts develop and maintain maximum network security.
In 2015, IBM’s security business reached $2 billion in revenue and added 1,000 employees.