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IBM unwraps mobile security initiatives

IBM has unwrapped a variety of mobile security initiatives to help corporate customers better protect and manage the mass of intelligent devices coming to their networks.

First, IBM Security Services said it would team with Juniper Networks to offer managed services for Apple iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS and Windows through the Juniper Networks Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite. The service, IBM says integrates policy-based enforcement that prevents smartphones from accessing key corporate resources unless required security policies and applications are in place.

The service is designed to use IBM’s worldwide managed security services coupled with Juniper’s mobile security management technology to help enterprise users maintain compliance and secure information assets from Internet attacks.

IBM also announced Tivoli Endpoint Manager, which brings the features of BigFix, which IBM bought in July 20110 into the IBM package. BigFix’s platform, which was aimed squarely at data centre operations, includes a range of modules for handling patch management, security configurations and power management. At the time if the purchase IBM said BigFix would bolster its management offerings and keep it a step ahead of other big players in data centre automation: HP, BMC and CA Technologies.

IBM said the new package combines endpoint and security management into a single offering and will let enterprise customers see and manage physical and virtual endpoints. Tivoli Endpoint Manager can identify which devices are not in compliance with corporate IT policies and recommend security fixes and timely software updates to 500,000 machines in a matter of minutes. The new software can also display all of an organisation’s virtual and physical assets in a single view to help locate, manage and protect these systems, IBM stated.

Meanwhile IBM said it is researching and prototyping technologies to manage security and compliance challenges involving mobile smart phones, such as Android-based devices. With one such prototype system, using a single management platform, organizations will be able to extend management across any mobile device on their network, IBM stated. Customers will quickly be able to remotely set policies, monitor employees’ devices to identify potential data compromise and wipe data off the devices if they are lost or stolen, IBM stated.

IBM added that researchers are also looking for ways to help customers secure instrumented endpoints for smart electrical meters. By 2015, it is expected that more than 300 million smart meters will be deployed worldwide and IBM expects work from this research project to let customers manage and secure a meter remotely, while helping to ensure they are also tamper proof.

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