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IBM Acquires Guardium, Adds Real-Time Compliance to Databases

IBM on Monday said it has acquired Guardium, a leading supplier of real-time database application monitoring software.

Guardium's namesake software modules provide audits, real-time monitoring and tracking of database trails, and discovery tools. The modules support every major database platform including Oracle, IBM's DB2, Sybase, Microsoft's SQL Server and MySQL.

IBM acquired the closely held, 150-person company for an undisclosed amount.

"Organizations are facing very strict government and industry regulations," said Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM's Information Management business, on a conference call announcing the deal. "They also have demands for unprecedented levels of transparency and access to data and information within the enterprise. This transparency and accountability begins with the data. Guardium's technology helps our clients take up the data by providing the transparency and access."

Guardium identifies patterns and inconsistencies in the way data is accessed. Its real-time monitoring functions can detect fraud and unauthorized access to databases and information residing in ERP, CRM and data warehousing systems.

"It is, at data-level, a complement to the application security offerings from Rational at the application level," said Ovum analyst Tony Baer. "While I won't go as far as calling this a double-layer firewall, it does add another layer of defenses against database intrusions."

IBM's Krishna said the software, used by about 400 customers including some of the world's largest banks, has applicability beyond just serving regulatory issues.

"This is not just about compliance with government regulations. The technology plays a big role in helping orgs comply with mandates like the Payment Card Industry and also helps reduce fraud within the enterprises," he said.

While Guardium's software will be integrated into IBM's business intelligence and Information on Demand portfolio, Krishna said the company plans to continue support for all other database platforms.

"This cross-platform support will be maintained and will be a critical component of our offerings as we move forward," he said. "More than ever, organizations need to maintain real-time insight, in effect applying analytics to analytics, to make sure that people know who is getting access and whether it's authorized or unauthorized."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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