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Carbon Black, IBM Take Aim At Competitor Tanium With New Partnership

The partnership brings together endpoint security capabilities from Carbon Black with IBM's endpoint management technology to help customers and partners identify and fix vulnerabilities more quickly.

Carbon Black and IBM are deepening their relationship, unveiling Tuesday a new endpoint management partnership that takes direct aim at competitor Tanium.

The partnership brings together endpoint security capabilities from Carbon Black with IBM’s endpoint management technology. Specifically, the partnership links Carbon Black’s endpoint activity data and public Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures data with IBM’s Big Fix, the company’s endpoint security management solution, and SIEM solution IBM QRadar.

The benefit of bringing these features together from a security perspective, Carbon Black Senior Vice President of Business Development Tom Barsi said, is that it helps customers and partners identify and fix vulnerabilities more quickly, as well as provide incident remediation if necessary.

[Related: Report: Carbon Black Files For IPO As Endpoint Security Market Continues To Heat Up]

’It’s very powerful to reducing dwell time and remediating in real time. That’s the power here,’ Barsi said.

The announcement builds on a partnership the two companies unveiled in February, under which IBM started using Carbon Black’s incident response offerings as part of its X-Force Incident Response Services and integrated its Big Fix and QRadar offerings with Carbon Black’s endpoint protection and response platforms. Barsi said this new partnership is a ’natural extension’ of the move earlier this year.

The new partnership takes aim at endpoint management startup Tanium. IBM has a long history with Tanium, which was founded by Big Fix founders David and Orion Hindawi. The founders sold BigFix to IBM in 2010 and will now compete even more directly against it under this new partnership.

Barsi said Tanium has done a ’fantastic job innovating on the endpoint and patch management,’ but he said the new partnership will ’truly bridge the gap’ between security and asset management in a way the security startup can’t do on its own.

’Tanium has been talking big about coming in from a security capability perspective with vulnerability management, but they lack the context and visibility that Carbon Black brings. If we combine that with BigFix, we truly leapfrog the competition and deliver a solution that’s really powerful,’ Barsi said.

’The IBM team is leaning in,’ he said. ’The fit is very, very strategic and, most importantly, from a competitive perspective, the IBM and Big Fix team is heavily focused on being competition to Tanium, and I think the IBM sellers across the globe will see the Carbon Black integration as a compelling integration to leapfrog Tanium.’


The combined offering is available from existing IBM and Carbon Black partners or can be purchased by customers directly from IBM. Barsi said he sees a big opportunity for IBM and joint reseller partners, such as Optiv Security, Nexum, and Sirius Computer Solutions, to sell the offering to customers looking for a complete endpoint management solution. In particular, he said he sees the opportunity for resellers to build managed security services around the offering.

’We see a tremendous opportunity for resellers that understand the security space and are deep in security and already offering both products. The synergy is so great, but if you look at the combination of Carbon Black plus Big Fix, it truly is a one plus one equals three situation,’ Barsi said.

The launch comes as a report emerged that Carbon Black had filed confidentially for an initial public offering. There had also been rumors floating that the growing relationship between IBM and Carbon Black could be acquisition-related, but Barsi said the company is ’focused on building value more than anything right now.’

’As Patrick Morely our CEO would say, we are focused on building the most compelling stand-alone security play in the Boston area. We are focused on building value, innovating in the space and owning the endpoint space and building value. I think we see a great opportunity to expand our footprint globally,’ Barsi said.

Barsi said IBM and Carbon Black will continue to build on its partnership, with a focus on tighter integration with QRadar around automating SOCs, as well as combining the company’s next-generation antivirus offering with IBM’s cloud enablement and cloud delivery offerings.

’Those are all natural extensions we can add to this partnership. That will make it all the more compelling going forward,’ Barsi said.

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