IBM buys Trusteer, forms Israeli cybersecurity lab

IBM has purchased enterprise security firm Trusteer with the development of an Israel-based cybersecurity lab in mind.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

IBM has acquired security firm Trusteer as part of the formation of a security lab focused on mobile and application security, counter-fraud and malware detection.

In an announcement Thursday, IBM said it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire the company, which specializes in protecting businesses networks, mobile devices and web applications from cybercriminals.

Trusteer is a privately-held company, formed in 2006, with locations in Boston, MA and Tel Aviv, Israel. Seven of the largest 10 U.S. banks and nine of the biggest 10 U.K. banks use Trusteer's software to scan for malware to protect against financial fraud. The company says it focuses on detecting problems that traditional security software might miss.

The agreement will add Trusteer's security solutions to IBM's current portfolio. IBM says that by securing Trusteer, the company's fraud protection, advanced persistent threat protection, zero-day vulnerabilities, endpoint security and threat intelligence services will be strengthened.

Trusteer's solutions are delivered through cloud technology, an area IBM has been developing over the past few years. In June, the tech giant purchased SoftLayer, a company that can help IBM integrate public and private clouds for its clients, an acquisition believed to be worth around $2 billion. Both of these deals seem to be aimed at making IBM solutions more attractive to small to medium-sized businesses interested in using cloud-based technology to boost overall performance and shore up security.

The drive towards improving cloud-driven solutions appears to be working for Big Blue as the firm won its largest federal cloud contract to date this month. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), the company's latest contract is worth approximately $1 billion and contains the building and deployment of a new cloud infrastructure for the National Park Service.

Financial terms of the IBM-Trusteer deal were not disclosed.

"The way organizations protect data is quickly evolving," said Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer. "As attacks become more sophisticated, traditional approaches to securing enterprise and mobile data are no longer valid. Trusteer has helped hundreds of large banks and organizations around the world defeat thousands of sophisticated attacks using innovative solutions that combine intelligence, cloud, mobile, and desktop technologies."

As part of the announcement, the tech giant said it also plans to form a cybersecurity software lab in Israel to create a security team comprising of 200 Trusteer and IBM researchers and developers. The lab will focus on creating solutions for "mobile and application security, advanced threat, malware, counter-fraud, and financial crimes."

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

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