IBM Buys Resilient Systems in Cybersecurity Move

The company is piecing together a portfolio of services that will enable customers to protect against, defend and respond to cyber attacks.
Katie Kuehner-HebertFebruary 29, 2016

IBM is adding to its growing cybersecurity business by acquiring incident response firm Resilient Systems and partnering with endpoint security provider Carbon Black.

Resilient will be a key component of IBM X-Force Incident Response Services, a new initiative that was launched Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM intends to retain the roughly 100 employees working at Resilient Systems, including chief executive John Bruce, a former vice president at Symantec, and its chief technology officer, security guru Bruce Schneier.

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“By adding Resilient Systems’ technology and expertise, IBM will have an industry-leading range of capabilities to help clients respond to cyber breaches, across consulting, services, and products,” Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security, said in a news release.

“Cybersecurity needs to function like an immune system, both in preventing breaches, but also in quickly eradicating those that do occur,” he added.

According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, 70% of U.S. security executives do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan in place.

Another piece of IBM’s cybersecurity strategy is the partnership with Carbon Black, whose technology enables a customer to trace a cyber attack all the way back to its origin and see its impact across the organization.

Caleb Barlow, vice president of IBM Security, said the Resilient Systems acquisition is the cornerstone of a three-prong strategy.

“This ultimately gives us the ability to expand from protecting and defending the enterprise to also being able to respond to a breach,” he told Investor’s Business Daily. “This combination of a new acquisition and the associated partnerships really make a move into the incident-response space.”

IBM’s revenue from its security division, which was formed four years ago with the purchase of QRadar, reached $2 billion in 2015. With cloud, analytics and mobile, the business is part of IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s effort to refocus the company as it tries to navigate the “post-PC” era.

XConomy reported that IBM will pay $100 million for Resilient, but neither of the companies would confirm that price.