IBM, AT&T Team on Cyber-Security Services

Joint cyber-security solutions from IBM and AT&T feature secure network infrastructure and analytics to combat cyber-threats.

IBM and AT&T announced a strategic relationship to provide businesses with a simplified, single source for network security and threat management.

The companies announced their agreement at the RSA Conference 2014, saying they will offer business customers a new joint service combining security network infrastructure with advanced threat monitoring and analytics.

Cyber-threats have become a boardroom agenda with their potential to bring down an organization's network, create compliance issues, damage bottom lines and impact brand reputation, IBM said. In addition, disparate security technologies create "security silos," increasing cost and complexity of security management and making it difficult to uniformly monitor security threats across IT environments. The new service from AT&T and IBM will help businesses address these challenges with a secure network infrastructure, analytics, and a blend of on-premises and cloud-managed security capabilities.

AT&T and IBM individually have strong IT security data monitoring operations, each generating advanced security threat intelligence from the billions of security events they track each day. Together, the companies will create a combined security intelligence source and analytics capability.

The new offering comprises proven solutions from AT&T and IBM. It includes Network Security Infrastructure and Managed Security Services from AT&T, including network-based firewall, IDS/IPS, Web filtering, secure email gateway and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection services for security devices managed on-premises or in the AT&T cloud. IBM capabilities include IBM Network Security Consulting to assess and transform network security; IBM Security Monitoring and Threat Intelligence for faster threat detection and response; and IBM Emergency Response Services for around-the-clock security expert support in responding to sophisticated attacks and helping remediate them.

"With today's constantly changing threat environment, companies need cost-effective solutions that provide end-to-end protection alongside real-time monitoring and response operations," said Andy Daudelin, vice president of Security Services for AT&T Business Solutions, in a statement. "We've created an unparalleled solution with the combined strength, reliability, and agility of AT&T network-based security services and IBM threat intelligence and analytics."

"Organizations are finding great benefits with hybrid IT strategies that blend mobile, cloud-based and on-premise IT resources," said Kris Lovejoy, general manager of IBM Security Services, in a statement. "But securing these infrastructures can be complicated without a single, integrated management system that avoids creating silos of security data making it almost impossible to uniformly monitor security threats across environments. IBM and AT&T have come together to offer unprecedented security services designed to break down those silos and better secure data no matter where it resides."

Christina Richmond, program director for infrastructure security at IDC, added, "This is an advantageous combination of industry-leading network-based security, consulting, and analytics. AT&T and IBM are meeting a real market need with a robust end-to-end security solution that provides enterprise customers with both integration and simplicity."

This announcement comes a week after IBM announced a new service to help enterprises use the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) new Cybersecurity Framework as well as an appliance for helping organizations diagnose and defend their data and enterprise networks against external attacks and unauthorized insider activities.

The IBM and AT&T security partnership also comes a week after the two companies announced a new global alliance to develop solutions that help support the "Internet of things." The companies said they will combine their analytic platforms, cloud and security technologies with privacy in mind to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries.