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IBM's Rometty gives a keynote address during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas
Steve Marcus — Reuters

IBM and Carbon Black Offer a Rapid Response Tool for Cyber Attacks

Oct 04, 2016

Companies hit by hackers often waste precious time asking, "What now?" Such delays can be costly, since network invaders, once they know their cover is blown, are apt to make additional mischief by stealing or vandalizing data.

The problem is a hard one, though, since the companies that are best at detecting breaches are often not best poised to fix them. That's why IBM and end-point security firm Carbon Black announced a new technology on Tuesday aimed at creating a rapid response of sorts when a firm discovers a hack.

According to the companies, the tie-up will let customers patch problems "within seconds," thanks to the combination of Carbon Black's proficiency at sniffing out intruders, and Big Blue's "Big Fix" tool-kit—a service that quarantines and stops security dangers.

"The point of this is to reduce the attack surface," said Tom Barsi, a senior executive with Carbon Black, who added that the hand-off of a detected threat to IBM Security is entirely automated.

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The companies are talking up their partnership as the only service on the market that offers a full one-stop shop of "Find it, Fix it, Secure it."

The new joint offering, which will include IBM selling Carbon Black services directly, comes after the companies announced a tie-up at the RSA conference in February.

It also comes at an interesting time for both firms. Carbon Black has reportedly filed for an IPO as it jostles with other up-and-coming firms in the security space, including Tanium and Cylance, and incumbents like Symantec.

See also: IBM Sees Tipping Point at Hand for Industrial Internet

IBM, meanwhile, wants to strut its security chops as the company relies on a growing panoply of services—including those related to blockchain and the industrial internet—to offset an ongoing decline in traditional businesses like hardware.

According to Jim Brennan, director of strategy and offering management, IBM Security pulled in $2 billion in revenue in 2015, and posted 18% growth in the first half of this year. The company has also been making acquisitions in the space, including its recent purchase of Resilient Systems, which provides PR and other forms of hand-holding in the event a firm is breached.

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