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IBM Just Bought This Startup to Boost Cybersecurity

January 23, 2017, 7:35 PM UTC
Key Participants At Fortune's Annual Most Powerful Women Event
Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, chief executive officer and president of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), smiles during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Dana Point, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The summit gathers the preeminent women in businessalong with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education and the artsfor wide-ranging conversations and features one-on-one interviews, panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions and high-level networking. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

IBM’s security business is getting a little boost.

The business technology giant said Monday that it would buy a small cyber security startup Agile 3 Solutions for an undisclosed price. The San Francisco startup sells software that clues business executives on cyber security threats and risks to sensitive information, like merger and acquisition plans, sales strategies, and intellectual property data.

IBM (IBM) said it would incorporate the startup’s technology into its own security products once the deal closes in a few weeks.

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“Knowing what your crown jewel data is, and understanding its susceptibility to exploitation via external or insider threats, is an imperative for any organization,” IBM security general manager Marc van Zadelhoff said in a statement.

For Agile 3 Solutions CEO and founder Raghu Varadan, the acquisition represents a homecoming of sorts. Vardan was previously an IBM executive in the company’s global business services consulting unit for nearly a decade from 1999 to 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Having worked closely with IBM Security as a business partner, our team is excited by the opportunity to join the leader in enterprise security,” Varadan said in a statement.

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Cybersecurity (along with cloud computing and Watson data crunching) is one of IBM’s top priorities to revive its business, which has seen sales drop 19 consecutive quarters as its once mighty software licensing and server business has declined amid changing customer purchasing habits. IBM said that its security business generated $600 million in sales in its latest quarter, an 8% year-over-year increase.