IBM buys security intelligence minded Q1 Labs

IBM has launched a new security systems division, for which Q1 Labs will provide a unified analysis platform

In a move to fortify a newly created division devoted to security systems, IBM is acquiring Q1 Labs, the company announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Waltham, Mass., Q1 Labs vends security intelligence and event monitoring software. The company's software will provide a platform for the new IBM Security Systems division. Brendan Hannigan, now CEO of Q1, will head this division.

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IBM currently monitors 12 billion security events worldwide per day for its clients, according to the company. It estimates that the market for enterprise grade security services could generates more than US$94 million annually. Organizations face a bewildering array of tasks to secure their own systems, including protecting against network attacks, insider fraud and phishing attacks as well as meeting regulatory mandates.

Q1 Labs' security information and event management (SIEM) software detects and flag actions on the network and within user-facing systems that fall outside of prescribed policies and typical behavior. Such behavior indicates possible malicious activity, such as an employee purloining unauthorized information.

Q1 Labs serves more than 1,800 clients globally across a wide swath of industries, including health care, energy, retail, finance and government. Q1 Labs has partnered with a number of network infrastructure companies and security software companies, such as Juniper Networks, Enterasys, McAfee and Foundry.

In addition to the Q1 Labs software, IBM's new Security Systems division will also manage IBM's Tivoli, Rational and Information Management security software products, as well as the company's security appliances, lab offerings, services, and research efforts.

IBM has acquired more than 10 security focused companies in the past decade. Most recently, IBM acquired security analysis firm I2, in August.

Pending a successful regulatory review and satisfaction of closing conditions, IBM expects to complete the purchase of Q1 Labs by the end of 2011, and fold the company into the IBM Software Group.

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