IBM Launches New Software Security Solution

IBM leverages the technology from its Ounce Labs acquisition to deliver a new security solution from its Rational tools group.

IBM has tapped its Rational tools division to deliver new software that advances security analysis.

Slated for announcement on Dec. 3, IBM's new software and analysis capabilities provide a more efficient and accurate way to help organizations design, build and manage secure applications, the company said.

The new offering is based on software IBM got through its acquisition of Ounce Labs.

IBM officials said the new software consolidates software vulnerability analysis and reporting into a single view across the enterprise. With this solution, developers can assess security threats across the entire software development lifecycle, enabling global development teams to easily identify and test security exposures, and help reduce the risks and costs associated with security and compliance concerns, IBM said.

For example, said IBM, organizations can use the software to automate application security audits and source code scanning to ensure that the network and Web-based applications are secure and compliant. This delivers improved accuracy of vulnerability identification and remediation.

The new security offerings include enhancements to the IBM Rational AppScan portfolio that further simplify security vulnerability analysis and identification for software developers, IBM said. Moreover, as part of the new features, IBM Research provided string analysis, a software development capability that helps simplify the security testing process by automatically detecting and verifying which Web application development input needs to be cleansed to remove security risks. This capability helps accelerate the accuracy and efficiency of security testing by the development community, regardless of their security expertise.

And according to IBM's 2010 mid-year X-Force Trend Report, 55 percent of all vulnerabilities come from Web applications, making it the greatest source of risk for organizations. The research indicates that computer security threats rose by 36 percent in the first half of 2010, resulting in more than 4,000 new vulnerabilities being documented compared to last year.

In addition, Web applications are often vulnerable due to a lack of built-in security. To reduce these risks, organizations need to implement security strategies that ensure applications are designed securely across the entire development lifecycle, from start to finish, IBM said in a press release about its new security solution. Finding ways to extend security analysis across more testers in the security process and employing multiple testing techniques will result in higher-quality and more secure applications

"As vulnerabilities become more prevalent, testing across the entire development lifecycle without having to invest in additional development resources and skills is significant for the bottom line," said Steve Robinson, general manager of IBM Security Solutions, in a statement. "Through the ongoing value brought by the acquisitions of Ounce Labs and Watchfire, combined with our R&D expertise, we can now provide more comprehensive security governance, collaboration and risk management solutions that further protect organizations from malicious attacks."

Meanwhile, the new advancements in the IBM Rational AppScan portfolio simplify and automate security scanning with new hybrid analysis capabilities, improving vulnerability identification and remediation. The hybrid analysis provides automated correlation of results from static code analysis and dynamic analysis to increase vulnerability identification in automated software.

New enhancements to the IBM Rational AppScan portfolio include a consolidated view of vulnerabilities with hybrid analysis reporting, broader scanning access to identify blind spots, a simplified security assessment process and support for multiple frameworks, IBM said.

In addition, IBM announced support for federal security protocol, CAC/PKI, for the IBM Rational Software portfolio. The CAC/PKI protocol enhances the ability of governments globally to prevent unauthorized access to physical and digital environments, which compromise the security of military and national initiatives. IBM provides a full range of services for the detailed design, development and implementation of smartcard/biometrics and CAC/PKI implementations as part of the efforts to deliver full software lifecycle support of CAC/PKI and other security protocols.