IBM to acquire Consul risk management

IBM today announced plans to acquire audit solutions provider Consul risk management in a move that further boosts the computing giant's security portfolio.

Consul, headquartered in the Netherlands with an office in Herndon, Va., is expected to become part of IBM's Tivoli Software unit, which already includes identity- and access-management components.

"We're so dependent upon information," Steven Adler, program director of IBM Data Governance Solutions, told today. "It's the lifeblood of our companies. We have to be much more intelligent in how we protect it. First and foremost, we must know what's going on in the organization."

Adler said Consul's monitoring solution will aid companies in meeting compliance requirements, but will primarily help them in assess risk and shape their security posture. Employing Consul's user monitoring and log management solutions, enterprises will be able to apply past behavior to determine future results, he said.

"You don't really want to depend on your yearly audit cycle to find out what's not working," he said. "This gives the tools and capabilities for security managers to be much more proactive."

And with regulations that govern employee access to private data remaining such a crucial driver within organizations, the acquisition will enable IBM's large customer base to fully address compliance, company officials said.

"With today's high volume of compliance activity, auditors typically want to know that organizations have control of privileged user activities," said Joe Sander, CEO of Consul. "Beyond knowing who has the right to access specific data, companies need to ensure that only appropriate individuals are doing so, without hindering business productivity."

This is the 11th software company to be acquired by IBM this year. The deal, whose financial details were not disclosed and which remains subject to regulatory approvals, likely will pale in comparison to IBM's $1.3 billion purchase of Internet Security Systems in August.

The IBM-Consul deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007. An IBM spokeswoman said it was too early to discuss whether there would be any layoffs.

 Click here to email Dan Kaplan.

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