Tech giant IBM (IBM) is solidifying its cybersecurity standing by deepening ties to No. 1 pure player Check Point Software Technology (CHKP) to pool research and integrate systems, the companies were scheduled to announce Thursday. It’s the most recent in a series of IBM moves to publicly step-up its cybersecurity initiatives. In 2015, IBM drew in $2 billion in cybersecurity sales, just 2.4% of total revenue. But that dollar mark easily topped total sales for Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint, Fortinet and FireEye and 12% year over year growth outstripped that of Symantec and check point. By combining forces, IBM and Check Point aim to thwart what the United Nations estimates is the $445 billion cybercrime underworld. Check Point’s and IBM Security’s researchers will be free to cross company borders to discuss threat data.
And several Check Point applications will be folded into IBM technology, Check Point’s vice president of security services, Avi Rembaum, told IBD. The alliance redoubles an 18-year relationship between IBM and Check Point. IBM manages security offerings for clients across the globe, and those implementations sometimes include Check Point products. The two companies have partnered in that regard for the past 18 years. Thus, IBM is keenly apprised of Check Point’s software. Under the new accord, Check Point will further school IBM on its tech. Check Point and IBM will combine research forces to create “a gigantic pool of security researchers,” Rembaum said. Doing so will expand the potential threat intelligence-gathering net, but also lend credibility to potential discoveries. “When we conduct research, it’s nice to have another leading organization with which we can provide notes,” he said. “It’s helpful to have a pool of researchers to validate assumptions. When two sources say it’s true, it makes it more relevant and more critical.”
But what’s more compelling is the integrated threat-prevention and analytics technologies, Rembaum says. Check Point will fold its SmartConsole application into the IBM Security App Exchange for integration with IBM’s Security QRadar Intelligence Platform. Together, the systems can tackle the entire security gamut – analyzing, blocking and mitigating attacks. The integration also means that a customer can operate within an IBM space but still access Check Point functions, Rembaum said. IBM customers will also be allowed to manage Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention within IBM’s MaaS360 enterprise-mobility management system, a software used to remove malicious apps and do quick security rollouts. Mobile is “the most critical space” for customers to protect, he said.