IBM acquires Polar Security to address the growing shadow data problem

IBM has acquired Polar Security, an innovator in technology that helps companies discover, continuously monitor and secure cloud and SaaS application data – and addresses the growing shadow data problem.

This news marks IBM’s 5th acquisition in 2023. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 30 companies, bolstering its hybrid cloud and AI capabilities.

The pandemic drove a sharp increase in cloud adoption, leaving organizations to grapple with a deluge of cloud data that led to more silos and “shadow data”– sensitive data not being tracked or managed.

Founded in January 2021, Polar Security is a pioneer of data security posture management (DSPM) – an emerging cybersecurity segment that reveals where sensitive data is stored, who has access to it, how it’s used, and identifies vulnerabilities with the underlying security posture, including with policies, configurations, or data usage.

An agentless platform that connects within minutes, Polar Security can automatically find unknown and sensitive data across the cloud, including structured and unstructured assets within cloud service providers, SaaS properties, and data lakes. Once discovered, Polar Security classifies the data, maps the potential and actual flow of that data, and identifies vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations, over-entitlements, and behavior that violates policy or regulations.

Based on a risk-based prioritization methodology, Polar Security provides remediation reports that pinpoint the most pressing security risks and compliance violations and provides an analysis of the underlying causes and practical recommendations to address them. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IBM plans to integrate Polar Security’s DPSM technology within its Guardium family of leading data security products. With the integration of Polar Security’s DPSM technology, IBM Security Guardium will provide security teams with a data security platform that spans all data types across all storage locations – SaaS, on premise and in public cloud infrastructure.

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