IBM Teams Up With Cisco To Fight Off Cybercrime

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International Business Machines Corp., or IBM and Cisco Systems Inc. announced on Wednesday they are working together to address and fight off the rising global threat of cybercrime as the two legacy tech giants will work closely together to improve security effectiveness for customers through technology integration, services and threat intelligence collaboration.

As part of a new deal, Cisco® security solutions will integrate with IBM’s QRadar to protect organizations across networks, endpoints and cloud. The apps will be available on IBM’s Security App Exchange, which had 92 third-party apps as of April, and work with Cisco’s security appliances and malware-prevention software and services to probe and respond to threats. Customers will also benefit from the scale of IBM Global Services support of Cisco products in their Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) offerings.

The San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco and Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM will also add product integrations to connect their portfolios over the course of 2018.The collaboration also establishes a new relationship between the IBM X-Force and Cisco Talos security research teams, who will start working together on threat intelligence research and coordinating on major cybersecurity incidents.

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While partnerships like this are common with smaller players in the cybersecurity space, the news is significant given that the two companies’ collective security businesses amounts to more than $4 billion. As Cybersecurity Ventures expects cybercrime to cost the world some $6 trillion by 2021, the companies stress the need for improved security for cloud-based services.

“Cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. This is why IBM has been a proponent of open collaboration and threat sharing in cybersecurity to change the economics for criminals,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager, IBM Security.

“With Cisco joining our immune system of defense, joint customers will greatly expand their ability to enhance their use of cognitive technologies like IBM Watson for Cyber Security. Also, having our IBM X-Force and Cisco Talos teams collaborating is a tremendous advantage for the good guys in the fight against cybercrime.”

He also noted both companies have security businesses producing about $2 billion in annual revenue. Two weeks ago, Cisco reported its security revenue rose 9% annually in the April quarter to $529 million, and that its security deferred revenue balance, boosted by rising subscription software and services revenue,  grew 39%. And CEO Chuck Robbins suggested on the earnings call that Cisco is open to more security M&A. IBM reported its security revenue grew 9% in the first quarter, but didn’t provide a sales number.

Earlier this month, Cisco disappointed with weaker-than-expected current-quarter guidance, cutting 1,110 jobs, and promising to push ahead with its transformation through buyouts, partnerships and other strategic initiatives. As for IBM, the firm has also carried out numerous acquisitions in order to diversify and leverage its unique software and services assets as it faces cloud disruption and heightened competition from players such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., and Microsoft Corp.

The latest deal demonstrates the power of the multinational tech company’s specialized teams, as they seek to partner up with other global leaders across industries and to tap into high-growth markets.

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