Cisco and IBM Join Forces to Tackle Cybercrime

Cisco and IBM Security today announced they are working together to address the growing global threat of cybercrime. In a new agreement, Cisco and IBM Security will work closely together across products, services and threat intelligence for the benefit of customers.

Cisco® security solutions will integrate with IBM’s QRadar to protect organizations across networks, endpoints and cloud. Customers will also benefit from the scale of IBM Global Services support of Cisco products in their Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) offerings. The agreement also establishes a new relationship between the IBM X-Force and Cisco Talos security research teams who will begin collaborating on threat intelligence research and coordinating on major cybersecurity incidents.

One of the core issues impacting security teams is the proliferation of security tools that do not communicate or integrate. A recent Cisco survey of 3,000 chief security officers found that 65 percent of their organizations use between six and 50 different security products. Managing such complexity is challenging over-stretched security teams and can lead to potential gaps in security. The Cisco and IBM Security relationship is focused on helping organizations reduce the time required to detect and mitigate threats, offering organizations integrated tools to help them automate a threat response with greater speed and accuracy.

“In cybersecurity, taking a data-driven approach is the only way to stay ahead of the threats impacting your business,” said Bill Heinrich, Chief Information Security Director, BNSF Railway. “Cisco and IBM working together greatly increases our team’s ability to focus on stopping threats versus making disconnected systems work with each other. This more open and collaborative approach is an important step for the industry and our ability to defend ourselves against cybercrime.”

Integrating Threat Defenses Across Networks and Cloud

The cost of data breaches to enterprises continues to rise. In 2016, the Ponemon Institute found for companies surveyed the cost was at its highest ever at $4 million – up 29 percent over the past three years.  A slow response can also impact the cost of a breach – incidents that took longer than 30 days to contain cost $1 million more than those contained within 30 days. These rising costs make visibility into threats, and blocking them quickly, central to an integrated threat defense approach.

The combination of Cisco’s best-of-breed security offerings and its architectural approach, integrated with IBM’s Cognitive Security Operations Platform, will help customers secure their organizations more effectively from the network to the endpoint to the cloud. As part of the collaboration, Cisco will build new applications for IBM’s QRadar security analytics platform. The first two new applications will be designed to help security teams understand and respond to advanced threats and will be available on the IBM Security App Exchange. These will enhance user experience, and help clients identify and remediate incidents more effectively when working with Cisco’s Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), Next-Generation Intrusion Protection System (NGIPS) and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Threat Grid.

In addition, IBM’s Resilient Incident Response Platform (IRP) will integrate with Cisco’s Threat Grid to provide security teams with insights needed to respond to incidents faster. For example, analysts in the IRP can look up indicators of compromise with Cisco Threat Grid’s threat intelligence, or detonate suspected malware with its sandbox technology. This enables security teams to gain valuable incident data in the moment of response.

“Cisco’s architectural approach to security allows organizations to see a threat once, and stop it everywhere. By combining Cisco’s comprehensive security portfolio with IBM Security’s operations and response platform, Cisco and IBM bring best-of-breed products and solutions across the network, endpoint and cloud, paired with advanced analytics and orchestration capabilities,” said David Ulevitch, SVP and general manager, Cisco Security.

“IBM has long been a proponent of open collaboration and threat sharing in cybersecurity,” 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 Cybersecurity. Also, having our IBM X-Force and Cisco Talos teams collaborating is a tremendous advantage for the good guys in the fight against cybercrime.”

Threat Intelligence and Managed Services

IBM X-Force and Cisco Talos research teams will collaborate on security research aimed at addressing the most challenging cybersecurity problems facing mutual customers by connecting their leading experts. For joint customers, IBM will deliver an integration between X-Force Exchange and Cisco’s Threat Grid. This integration greatly expands the historical and real-time threat intelligence that security analysts can correlate for deeper insights.

For example, Cisco and IBM recently shared threat intelligence as part of the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks. The teams coordinated their response and researchers exchanged insights into how the malware was spreading. They continue to collaborate on the investigation to ensure joint customers, and the industry, have the most relevant information.

Through this expanded collaboration, IBM’s Managed Security Services team, which manages security for over 3,700 customers globally, will work with Cisco to deliver new services aimed at further reducing complexity. One of the first offerings is designed for the growing hybrid cloud market. As enterprise customers migrate security infrastructure to public and private cloud providers, IBM Security will provide Managed Security Services in support of Cisco security platforms in leading public cloud services.

Amol Wagh

Author of Game Marketing Book: Market Your Indie Game Like A Pro! 7 years of Tech Blogging & Digital Marketing. Co-founder at Dotline Inc & a Gamer. Follow me on Twitter @amolwagh, @amol.wagh