IBM Closes Trusteer Acquisition, Establishes Cyber-Security Lab

IBM announced the close of its acquisition of Trusteer, a maker of cybersecurity software. Big Blue also plans to open a cybersecurity lab with Trusteer in Israel.

IBM announced the completion of its deal to acquire Trusteer, a privately held provider of software that helps protect organizations against fraud and advanced security threats.

The completion of the deal comes quickly on the heels of IBM's initial announcement of its plans to acquire Trusteer. On Aug. 15, IBM announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trusteer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Trusteer builds on more than 40 years of IBM's rich contribution to the security space," said Brendan Hannigan, general manager of IBM Security Systems, in a statement. "Trusteer will extend our data security capabilities further into the cloud, mobile and endpoint security space. This acquisition helps provide our clients with comprehensive network and endpoint anti-malware solutions."

Among the capabilities Trusteer will bring to the IBM security portfolio are comprehensive counter-fraud and advanced persistent threat (APT) protection. Trusteer's cyber-security protection scales to help protect tens of millions of endpoints, including smartphones and tablets. Malware and fraudulent activity can be identified and removed using solutions from Trusteer.

Trusteer also brings security-as-a-service technology delivered through the cloud. Cloud-delivered security solutions by Trusteer will complement more than 100 software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions offered by IBM. Because Trusteer software can be delivered through the cloud, organizations can receive accurate, real-time updates on malicious activities and the latest threats, better protecting data from fraud and compromise.

The Trusteer technology also will help IBM secure mobile transactions. Trusteer can help provide account takeover prevention with compromised device detection, complex device fingerprinting and a global fraudster database.

"We've done a lot of work on how we protect an enterprise inside its own walls," Caleb Barlow, director of mobile security at IBM, told eWEEK. "And then over time with things like BYOD we've reached out to how do you protect enterprise data on individual endpoints on mobile devices. But there really hasn't been a series of good answers for how do I protect a transaction.

"And if we also think about online brands, whether that is a retail company you're buying something from or an insurance company you're working with, a big portion of the value of that brand is now associated with trust," Barlow said. "If you can trust that brand, if you can trust them with your data, it's going to make a big difference in who you choose to do business with. So by acquiring this company, it gives us the ability to bring trust into these relationships around the transactions that you as the consumer make."

Also announced Aug. 15, IBM is forming a cyber-security software lab in Israel that will bring together more than 200 Trusteer and IBM researchers and developers to focus on mobile and application security, advanced threat protection, malware, counter-fraud and financial crimes. This lab is an addition to IBM's existing research and development facilities in Israel.

"This acquisition is further proof that IBM is serious about providing clients with the security intelligence capabilities to help protect organizations in a constantly evolving threat landscape," said John Johnson, global security strategist at John Deere, in a statement. "As part of IBM, Trusteer's counter-fraud capabilities, along with the creation of a cyber-security software lab, will help make advances in counter-fraud and malware protection."

IBM provides the security intelligence to help enterprises protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM operates a broad security research and development organization. The company manages and monitors 15 billion security events every day for nearly 4,000 clients around the world and holds more than 3,000 security patents.

"At the end of the day the biggest enemy in all of this is you, the end user, where you accidentally click on that link that looks all too compelling and the next thing you know your workstation is chock full of malware," Barlow said. "So this really provides that level of protection for the consumer and the ability for the brands that are offering this service to protect their brand and their customers' data."