IBM Opens New Global Headquarters for Security Services

IBM's new security services headquarters opens along with a dedicated "cyber range" for cyber-threat simulations as well what it calls the X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services.

IBM is officially opening its new global security headquarters in Cambridge, MA, providing a new base of operations for the company's $2 billion a year security business.

Along with the new headquarters, IBM is opening what it calls the industry's first "commercial Cyber Range," which is a cyber-threat simulator to train clients who to deal with cyber-threats . IBM is also launching a new Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) team.

"We officially formed the IBM Security business unit in 2015 and had many facilities in Cambridge and around the world," Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security, told eWEEK. "This new headquarters will help physically consolidate our teams in Boston and provide a central location for many of our core assets and resources, supporting collaboration in an agile work location."

Van Zadelhoff added that the commercial Cyber Range is the center piece of the new office. He noted that it is the first physical cyber range for the commercial sector and it's a permanent facility, not a service offered via the internet.

"It is a full-fledged cyber-security simulator where we work with clients to help them experience and defend against the latest strains of malware and attack schemes," Van Zadelhoff said. "The cyber range helps the entire C-Suite and Boards of Directors manage a cyber-attack."

While the Cyber Range is a key feature of the new IBM global security headquarters, it's not the only one. Van Zadelhoff said that there are a variety of other resources, including a Dark Web lab where researchers will be able to study the dark web with new tools and technologies. Additionally there is a new, agile workspace with a state of the art customer briefing center; and a new global television studio for crisis communication training.

IBM is also launching its X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) today in an effort to further help organizations deal with security breaches. IBM has been steadily growing out is security services in recent months, adding the X-Force Red team effort in September.

"It's (IRIS) an elite team that is net new and complementary to IBM X-Force Red," Van Zadelhoff said. "The IRIS team is focused on response, whereas our X-Force Red team is focused on pen-testing."

The market for incident response services is a competitive one with FireEye, Rapid7 and Trustwave among the many vendors active in the space. Van Zadelhof emphasized that IBM is focused on agility in response—containing the incident quickly to reduce the cost of a data breach.

"Our investments in incident response this year have now positioned us to be the leader in the emerging response market," Van Zadelhof said. "This is attracting top talent like the new IBM X-Force IRIS consultants, many of whom formerly worked at those firms that have worked on some of the top breaches in the headlines over the past decade."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.