IBM buys Trusteer, gets a lot more than Anti-Virus

What does it say about News Limited’s Business Spectator when they pigeon hole Trusteer as an "anti-virus" company? Some simple journalism, including other sources for the news about IBM’s purchase of the security company would have told them that such a description was beyond reductive. But it’s the challenge anyone in the security industry has to face when translating what we do in a way that most people understand.

The most interesting part about the purchase, the recent purchase of Sourcefire by Cisco and Intel’s purchase of McAfee a couple of years back, is that security might finally be seen as a core business offering, at least at the enterprise level.
In June Cisco CEO John Chambers said,

we are not our customer’s primary security vendor and that’s got to change.

Certainly IBM VP Marc van Zadelhoff has the same view;

all our products will work together and share data…IBM is leaps and bounds ahead in covering the most domains and doing the integration that is necessary. Five years from now [the market is] not going to be so fragmented.

What this reduction in fragmentation means for those security operations that traditionally added value to core services offered by organisations like Intel, Cisco and IBM will be interesting to behold. Should we expect further consolidation in the coming years as customers expect the services they purchase to be secure out of the box, leaving less room for over the top players? I can’t see it any other way.

For smaller, more nimble and innovative providers, as well as being able to attract attention just as Trusteer and Sourcefire have done, they may also have the ability to continue to build on top of the core security offerings and stay independent. For those who don’t fit that bill, it must be certain we will see a contracting in the market.


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