IBM Adds a Firewall to Its IPS Assets

IBM blends IPS and WAF with a major update of security assets it gained in its acquisition of ISS.

Enterprises typically deploy a conga line of hardware security devices to protect their infrastructure assets from the daily barrage of security threats. That line may be soon get a little shorter as IBM this week is releasing an update for its Intrusion Prevention System technology that adds Web Application Firewall (WAF) features to traditional IPS capabilities.

IBM’s IPS technology comes from its ISS security assets, which were acquired in 2006 by IBM for $1.3 billion. The update to IBM’s IPS technology comes at a critical time for the IPS market as a whole, with revenue forecast to hit $1.2 billion by 2014. The IPS market is also a competitive one, with Cisco currently in the lead and both IBM and HP aiming for more market share.

The traditional role of IPS is to protect networks against network level threats and attacks. On the other hand, a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is typically a separate type of technology that is typically deployed alongside a Web application server to protect against application attacks. With the new IPS release, IBM is now combining the two functions.

“I would say that is our most significant release in terms of features, performance and capabilities that we’ve had since the acquisition,” Dave Ostrowski, product line executive for IBM Security Solutions, told “We want to provide one solution that will adequately defend web farms from attack,” Ostrowski said. “We don’t want our customers to have to buy a WAF and an IPS.”

Read “IBM Adds Firewall to IPS Product” at CIO Update

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