IBM to buy ISS

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IBM announced last week plans to purchase Atlanta, Ga.-based Internet Security Systems Inc. The transaction is priced at approximately $1.3 billion. The two companies began collaborating in 1999, and by purchasing ISS, IBM hopes to bolster its strength in the managed security services realm, and that includes the healthcare space.
           
ISS provides security systems to thousands of the world's leading companies and governments, helping to proactively protect against internet threats across networks, desktops and servers. ISS software, appliances and services monitor and manage network vulnerabilities and exploits and are designed to respond in advance of potential threats.
           
"One of the fastest growing segments for Internet Security Systems is the healthcare segment," said Peter Evans, vice president of marketing for Internet Security Systems. "Due to the introduction of a broad range of technologies ISS is working to secure the hospital environment from the new set of threat vectors including viruses, malware and even unauthorized people on the network. The combined ISS and IBM team will provide healthcare institutions with the technology and expertise to consolidate the highly fractured security market into a single highly adaptable and extensible platform that will offer protection across all layers."
           
ISS augments IBM’s ability to address this growing industry challenge by combining ISS’ complementary automated security platform, services, software and expert consultants with IBM’s broad security portfolio, innovative research and global reach. Together, IBM and ISS will offer customers a preemptive means to step ahead of targeted security threats or attacks.
           
The acquisition is subject to ISS shareholder and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2006.