IBM announces new threat analytics to help organizations better identify hidden security attacks

Press release
Published April 26th, 2012 - 05:54 GMT

IBM has unveiled new analytics using advanced security intelligence that can flag suspicious behavior in network activities to help better defend against hidden threats facing organizations.

As organizations open up their networks to smartphones and increased social media access, traditional security defenses alone such as firewalls and antivirus software can’t adequately protect an organization. According to the 2011 IBM X-Force Trend and Risk Report, adversaries ramped up social engineering attacks and X-Force witnessed mobile exploits increased by 19 percent in 2011.  Firewalls and traditional security products do little against advanced threats that use unreported techniques or that have already invaded an organization.

To address this, IBM is announcing the QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance that analyzes complex network activity in real-time, detecting and reporting activity that falls outside normal baseline behavior.  The analytics not only can look at inbound attacks but also can detect outbound network abnormalities where malware may have already infected a “zombie” system to send data outside the organization.

“Advanced attackers are both patient and clever, leaving just a whisper of their presence, and evading many network protection and detection approaches,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, vice president of Strategy and Product Management, IBM Security Systems. “Most organizations don’t even know they have been infected by malware. An advantage of IBM analytics is that it can detect the harbingers of new attacks from the outside or reveal covert malicious activity from the inside.”

Using advanced behavioral algorithms, the QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance analyzes disparate data that can collectively indicate an attack – network and traffic flows, intrusion prevention system (IPS) alerts, system and application vulnerabilities, and user activity. It quantifies several risk factors to help evaluate the significance and credibility of a reported threat, such as the business value and vulnerabilities of targeted resources.  

By applying behavioral analytics and anomaly detection, the application can flag abnormal events such as:
Outbound network traffic detected to countries where the company does not have business affairs;
FTP traffic observed in a department that doesn’t regularly use FTP services; and
A known application running on a non-standard port or in areas where it is not allowed (e.g. unencrypted traffic running in secure areas of the network).

The new QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance leverages the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform and is designed to complement IBM SiteProtector and IBM Network Security IPS deployments. The new appliance also receives a threat intelligence feed from IBM X-Force research, providing insight into suspect entities on the Internet based upon knowledge of more than 15 billion Web pages and images, The X-Force IP Reputation Feed provides QRadar Network Anomaly Detection with a real-time list of potentially malicious IP addresses – including malware hosts, spam sources and other threats. If the product sees any traffic to or from these sites, it can immediately alert the organization and provide rich contextual information about the activity.

IBM Network Security IPS with Hybrid Protection:
IBM has also announced the newest version of its Network IPS contains hybrid protection combining the broad protection found in IBM’s Protocol Analysis Engine with the open source capabilities and common rule syntax of SNORT. This functionality gives IBM clients the ability to easily create and share custom IPS rules in a popular open source format and at the same time provides the confidence that comes with IBM’s protection powered by IBM X-Force Research.  IBM’s Protocol Analysis Engine is considered to be one of the industry’s most comprehensive threat detection engines.

IBM’s Advanced Threat Protection Platform:
IBM is announcing its suite of network security offerings, the Advanced Threat Protection Platform, which is now one of the most comprehensive, integrated threat protection portfolios. It comprises IBM Security Network IPS and IBM SiteProtector, and the new QRadar Network Anomaly Detection with the new X-Force IP Reputation Feed.  Users can now access X-Force intelligence through their QRadar offenses and reports to identify threats related to malicious IP addresses. The solutions also help protect against network-based threats masked in common network traffic and prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities at the network, host and application layers.

As security is increasingly becoming a big data issue, this appliance is part of IBM’s overall push to combine analytics with real-time feeds to deliver greater security intelligence to clients. IBM offers a range of other security-specific appliances targeted at specific needs.

Availability:
QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance with the X-Force IP Reputation Feed is available this quarter. IBM Advanced Threat Protection Portfolio except the QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance is available today and comprises existing and new product offerings.

Background Information

IBM

For more than six decades, IBM Middle East & Pakistan has played a vital role in shaping the information technology landscape of the region. Today, IBM is part of the region’s technological fabric, solving real-world business and societal challenges, through its offices in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Pakistan, and also a diversity of centers across the region.

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