IBM_logo_2009.jpg It’s been a busy summer for mergers and acquisitions, and looks set to continue. In the case of IBM (news, site) who reportedly paid US$ 400 million for security firm BigFix and closed the deal on July 20, they have already used the company to produce new software for compliance and content security.

The general availability of the new BigFix Unified Management Software (UMS) gives Big Blue a tool that identifies all enterprises PCs, laptops, servers and virtualized devices as well as everything contained on those devices on a single screen and flags when the devices are not compliant with corporate IT standards.

Using UMS, enterprises will be able to secure all their assets, both digital content and hardware, by enforcing security policies across networks as well as applying ‘fixes’ to up to 500,000 machines at a time -- including those that are not permanently attached to the enterprise network.

BigFix UMS v8.0

Whether BigFix had been working on upgrading UMS to v8.0 before IBM bought it, or whether IBM is just particularly efficient in turning its acquisitions into potential money making assets is unkown, but the version of UMS that is now on sale includes over 200 customer and partner specific enhancements. Included in those enhancements are:

  • Virtualized asset management: Easier and better management of all enterprise assets in a single view making the location and management of those assets easier and more secure.
  • Redesigned Interface: Optimized workflows based on a role-based interface that includes role-specific views so the status of all assets can be viewed according to user relevancy.

Enterprise Security

IBM has been putting a lot of thought and resources into security recently, but that’s hardly surprising if you take into account that Gartner has estimated that the security software market will have grown by 11% this year to a value of US$ 16.5 billion.

Securing the enterprise is a top priority to clients. Worldwide security software revenue is forecast to surpass $16.5 billion in 2010, an 11.3 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $14.8 billion.

In the Forecast Analysis: Security Software Markets, Worldwide, 2009-2014, 2Q10 Update Matthew Cheung, senior research analyst at Gartner points out that compliance is one of the major drivers in many areas including user provisioning, security information and mobile data protection.

The growing sophistication of the threat landscape — with malware composed of multiple components that can be installed after the initial infection and the exploits of socially engineered trojans, which trick end users into downloading and executing malicious files — will push organizations and consumers to invest in endpoint security products in coming years,” Cheung said.

IBM and BigFix

And there in a nutshell is at least one of the reasons behind the BigFix acquisition. BigFix has become part of the IBM Software Group and provides software that will intelligently secure enterprises by managing and automating security and compliance updates on thousands of computers around the globe.

BigFix software is also critical to IBM's automation portfolio that controls the ever-expanding data center, including PCs and laptops, in addition to servers, software, storage and physical assets. With BigFix software, IBM customers can manage

  • Security by design
  • IT Compliance
  • Energy and resource consumption

BigFix supports more than 70 operating systems as well as 70 operating system variants already supported across Windows, Mac, Unix and Linux. Upgrading BigFix deployments to version 8.0 requires no reboots and users can upgrade as fast as their change control allows.