The companies said they would more closely integrate their products, and their customers’ systems, to streamline the management of cyber threats. The companies’ security research teams will also begin collaborating.
Fundamentally, the companies said that the exploding number of tools and services designed to fight cybercrime don’t communicate well with each other, creating gaps that can be exploited by external forces. Cisco said that one of its surveys found that organizations use up to 50 different security products as they rush to plug every single possible hole.
But that leads to a complexity that IBM and Cisco say they want to simplify. Citing figures from Cybersecurity Ventures, the companies said cybercrime is expected to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.
“IBM has been a proponent of open collaboration and threat sharing in cybersecurity to change the economics for criminals,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager, IBM Security, in a statement.
The companies said they would particularly emphasize the need for better security for cloud-based services.
“By combining Cisco’s comprehensive security portfolio with IBM Security’s operations and response platform, Cisco and IBM bring best-of-breed products and solutions across the network, endpoint and cloud, paired with advanced analytics and orchestration capabilities,” said David Ulevitch, SVP and general manager, Cisco Security, in a statement.