Organizations today are fortunate to have access to a growing influx of new technology – from sophisticated data analytics to cloud computing – that will allow for faster innovation and growth. However, as part of the Smarter Planet, these organizations also recognize the dire need to keep their dynamic IT infrastructure constantly secured.
As evidenced by the latest IBM X-Force threat insight quarterly report, the number of IT security vulnerabilities is continuing to rise. New threats and increasingly wily attackers have companies looking for better ways to not only detect but anticipate and mitigate vulnerabilities before they become a problem. Emergency patch management should be a thing of the past.
[Click below to read more and see a screen shot of the tool]
Available this week, the improved IBM Managed Security Services hosted vulnerability management is a cloud-based network scanning service that helps companies to identify vulnerabilities across network devices, servers, web applications and databases to help manage risk and reduce the cost of security operations. By now offering this hosted vulnerability management as a cloud-based service, companies of all sizes can quickly and easily take advantage of the sophisticated security that was previously available only to the largest organizations. Additionally, IBM’s lifecycle-based approach to vulnerability management provides a solution that can help clients more easily address compliance mandates. For example, IBM is an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV), qualified by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). Now IBM can help companies establish a risk management program and demonstrate industry compliance with little or no hardware, software, or maintenance requirements.
After the service scans vulnerabilities in your networks, operating systems, web applications, and databases, it provides a prioritized report of vulnerabilities with actionable advice so that you know which ones to correct immediately and how to go about doing so. Is the vulnerability exploitable with common hacker tools that would require a patch or is it something more ominous? The quality of the scan narrows down false positives and negatives, can help you figure out what to worry about and then recommend which patches you need to apply and where to get them. For example, it can tell you that if you apply three patches, your 29 vulnerabilities will be fixed.
In addition, you don’t need an army of internal security experts to help you. IT staff can spend the hours they would have used for detection and emergency patch management to accomplish other critical business projects. The remediation advice gives the internal security staff credibility with the operational team. In sum, security intelligence is packaged automatically in this system – all part of IBM’s “Secure By Design” plan.
However, hosted vulnerability management is only one part of the whole cloud security package. As more companies look to adopt cloud but worry about security concerns, market analysts expect cloud security services to grow into a $3 billion market by 2012 (source: 2009, Boston Consulting Group). Check out the new IBM whitepaper on things to consider when looking for cloud-based security services: ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/sew03020usen/SEW03020USEN.PDF
For more information on the new hosted vulnerability management service, go to http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/index.wss/offering/iss/a1026968