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IBM ups cloud IAM offering with Lighthouse acquisition

IBM made its second cloud security acquisition in as many weeks with the purchase of Lighthouse Security Group, which specializes in cloud-based IAM services.

IBM made its second cloud security acquisition in less than two weeks on Monday with the purchase of Lighthouse Security Group, which specializes in identity and access management.

Based in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Lighthouse Security Group is a subsidiary of Lighthouse Computer Services, an IBM business partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company's Lighthouse Gateway is a cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) service that will be integrated with IBM's existing IAM platform and managed security services.

Cloud security is taking off because it's easier to use and it's less expensive.
Kris Lovejoygeneral manager of IBM Security Services

Kris Lovejoy, general manager of IBM Security Services, said she has a seen a growing interest in IAM technology as enterprise environments grow more complex through the addition of mobile devices and cloud services. The addition of Lighthouse Gateway, she said, will help IBM "take IAM implementation to the next level" through the cloud and give enterprises another layer of protection against data breaches.

"Lighthouse enables organizations to very quickly take applications and mobile devices and integrate them into an identity and access management ecosystem," Lovejoy said. "There are always going to be some concerns about the cloud, and people should be concerned about where they're putting their data. But cloud security is taking off because it's easier to use and it's less expensive."

Loyejoy said in the past, the process of building, integrating and authorizing an application within an organization would take years. But now applications are being built and deployed within a matter of weeks and enterprises are struggling to make sure those applications are both secure and available to the employees that need them.

"Everything has been supercharged," she said. "The whole ecosystem has sped up, and you need to be able to integrate applications and devices and have federated identity management because customers don't want to log in 12 different times a day anymore."

Because Lighthouse Gateway was already built on top of IBM's IAM platform and Softlayer cloud service, Lovejoy said IBM will be able to integrate the cloud-based IAM service into IBM's Security Services division quickly and expand Lighthouse Gateway beyond the U.S. market.

Lighthouse Security Group is the second cloud security acquisition for IBM in as many weeks. IBM purchased CrossIdeas, an Italian security vendor specializing in identity and access governance solutions, on July 31 for an undisclosed amount. CrossIdeas' governance and identity analytics solutions are available as a software as a service platform and can manage and audit access in both on-premise and cloud environments.

Lovejoy said Lighthouse Gateway's cloud IAM platform will compliment CrossIdeas' governance solutions and give customers a broad set of security tools and services to develop policies, monitor and analyze access and manage identities.

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