IBM Unveils Midmarket Security Offerings

The latest release is the IBM Rational AppScan Express Edition, a Web application scanning program which enables mid-sized companies to manage Web security and scan for vulnerabilities and malware attacks.

IBM's latest security addition complements numerous offerings in its Express Advantage portfollio, including the Express Multi-Function Security Bundle and Express Managed Multi-Function Security Bundle, which were unveiled in April, as well as the newly released IT Security Assessment Tool.

The new security offerings are aimed at SMB and midtier companies that want to protect data from malware and adhere to numerous regulatory security standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard -- all with limited budgets and lack of dedicated IT staff.

IBM execs say that the new midmarket tools are comprehensive, yet affordable and easy to deploy and maintain, providing an answer to some of the challenges faced by midmarket companies.

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"They're not in business to be IT shops. They want to build a security program that is robust enough without bogging them down in IT," said Ed Abrams, vice president of marketing for IBM general business.

In order to determine the breadth and depth of the midmarket security environment, IBM also conducted its Global CEO study to assess the security needs of that market segment, which will lay the foundation to develop adequate security solutions," execs say.

"That was what drove us to the CEO study, understanding from a customer perspective. If we want to build a midmarket portfolio, we have to start with the client's needs," said Abrams, adding "We dove deeper. What are the things that are keeping our midmarket CEOs up at night?"

Among other things, the study's creators found that while CEOs have a strategic vision and desire to grow their business, they have difficulty addressing tactical challenges on a day to day basis. Some of most significant challenges include looking for simpler ways to consistently meet compliance standards, prevent infrastructure breaches, integrate systems and mitigate and manage risk relate to the Web.

"The idea was to learn not only what the midmarket wanted, but understanding if there's any difference in pain points from a midmarket perspective," said Abrams.

For IBM partners, the array of recently released midmarket security solutions present new opportunities that will allow them to add a few more tools to their portfolio, while potentially enabling them to expand into new market segments, execs say.

"It is a huge opportunity," said Abrams. "They now have additional inventory in their kit bag that will allow them to help customers solve those problems. That's how we want the partners to use this. We want this to be the way that they can drive the conversation around a known need."