IBM expands in security software with Q1 Labs buy

Tue Oct 4, 2011 11:08am EDT

The sign at the IBM facility near Boulder, Colorado September 8, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The sign at the IBM facility near Boulder, Colorado September 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp (IBM) said it is to buy Q1 Labs, a privately-held security intelligence software provider, as it looks to tap into a growing market for security software.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes amid concerns over cyber security in the wake of high-profile cyber attacks on targets ranging from Sony Corp to the International Monetary Fund.

IBM, which sees the security software and services business as a $94 billion market opportunity, has been buying analytics companies to beef up its security offerings.

In five years, IBM has spent more than $14 billion on 25 deals focused on analytics to help its customers deal with the huge volumes of unstructured data from sources such as social media, biometrics and criminal databases.

In August, it bought British security analytics software firm i2, also for an undisclosed sum, and last month acquired Toronto-based risk analytics software firm Algorithmics for $387 million in cash.

Last year, Intel Corp paid $7.68 billion for data security firm McAfee Inc.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Q1 Labs -- which provides software for collecting, storing, analyzing and querying log, threat, vulnerability and risk-related data -- will become part of the IBM's newly-formed security systems division.

Q1 Labs, founded in 2001, has more than 1,800 clients globally, and counts Polaris Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, BDC Venture Capital and Globespan Capital Partners among its investors.

Q1 Labs CEO Brendan Hannigan will head up the new IBM division, helping clients tackle corporate security breaches, growing mobile security concerns and advanced security threats.

IBM shares were down 1.2 percent at $171.20 in morning trade on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, in line with the broader share market.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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