Security Operations , Video

IBM Security GM on Seeing a Target Through the Hacker's Eyes

Mary O'Brien on How External Attack Surface Management Finds Internet-Facing Issues
Mary O'Brien, general manager, IBM Security (Image: IBM)

Organizations can be blinded by their inside-out view and often benefit from another set of eyes that see their business the same way an attacker would, says IBM's Mary O'Brien.

See Also: CISO Roundtable: XDR Perspectives and the Art of Optimization

IBM's acquisition of attack surface management vendor Randori gives clients another view of areas that need to be remediated by conducting a scan of the customers' internet-facing assets, O'Brien says. This additional data set can close holes the organization inadvertently left open and fuels IBM's risk assessment program, which determines how dangerous security issues are based on how hackers think (see: IBM's Mary O'Brien on Global Security Challenges).

"IBM is a technology company, and we're always looking for technology that deals with where the puck is going and will take us a couple of steps ahead of where things are at today," O'Brien says. "The CTO of this whole business spent his life doing penetration testing and offensive security, and now we've basically got his mind in software."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, O'Brien also discusses:

  • How acquiring ReaQta allowed IBM to move into the XDR market;
  • How IBM's take on XDR is different from Microsoft or Trend Micro;
  • IBM's biggest investments to facilitate key third-party integrations.

At IBM Security, O'Brien leads a global team focused on delivering IBM's extensive security product and services portfolio. She is a strategic partner to many CEOs, CISOs and CIOs on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and IT strategy. Before taking over as head of the IBM Security unit, she led research and development for the division. A lifelong engineer, O'Brien has more than 30 years of industry experience developed through tenures in the United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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