IBM X-Force Steps Up

IBM has had a lot of news lately in the incident response world, with new capabilities and new acquisitions. What excites me, however, is the organic growth and extension of X-Force into IBM X-Force Incident Response Services.

Back when X-Force was founded, researchers were focused on specific topics like vulnerabilities. As the group has evolved, so has the breadth of coverage, which now includes spam, Web applications, botnet analysis, malware, mobile research and fraud campaigns.

It’s an exciting time when the IBM X-Force name also stands for applied expertise directly to our clients through actual on-site engagements.

Machine-Generated Data

X-Force is a busy group of people that could not accomplish what it does without a substantive quantity of data — whether it’s the sizable vulnerability database, 25 billion URLs and images, 860,000 IP addresses, 270 million endpoints or even the 15 billion security events a year from our managed security services clients. That is literally more data can you can shake a USB stick at, and we have the reports to prove it.

Before the advent of X-Force Exchange, that data was housed in corners of the organization, where you could get to it if you knew the right person or the right website. With the openness of X-Force Exchange, however, anyone — whether they are an IBMer or a client or even a fellow security provider — is welcome to research, inquire and collaborate with the wealth of machine-generated intelligence.

The collaboration of users within X-Force Exchange adds human context to threat intelligence to further refine the value of the data, particularly as X-Force practitioners, from researchers in the lab to those deployed on client sites, contribute insights and commentary on the threat observables in the platform.

Enhanced Security Products and Services

Long before X-Force Exchange was available, X-Force expertise was worked into a variety of products such as network protection, security intelligence and more. Threat intelligence is the foundation of and refining quality for a range of solutions. Whether it’s automatic blocking rules in a network protection product, securing cloud applications for employee use or refining prioritization of security events to prioritize investigations, the value of additional threat intelligence is clear.

Insight from X-Force permeates IBM Security as possibly the least secret sauce ever. Until last year, these insights were distributed via our products and in published reports and various speaking events, but not on an as-needed or on-call basis. That began to change in X-Force Exchange as researchers (as noted with a blue bar on their avatar) posted publicly and created collections focused on emerging threats and original research. With the advent of X-Force Incident Response, that same expertise can now come to you when you need it.

Real-World Engagements

Whether you are experiencing a breach or developing response plans to prepare for the worst, the same discipline that built the foundation of threat intelligence that saturates IBM Security is now available with a phone call. The combination of threat intelligence and applied insights is a dynamic duo, but the additional capability of making it actionable makes X-Force a triple threat.

Interested in emerging security threats? Read the latest IBM X-Force Research

More from X-Force

Grandoreiro banking trojan unleashed: X-Force observing emerging global campaigns

16 min read - Since March 2024, IBM X-Force has been tracking several large-scale phishing campaigns distributing the Grandoreiro banking trojan, which is likely operated as a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS). Analysis of the malware revealed major updates within the string decryption and domain generating algorithm (DGA), as well as the ability to use Microsoft Outlook clients on infected hosts to spread further phishing emails. The latest malware variant also specifically targets over 1500 global banks, enabling attackers to perform banking fraud in over 60 countries…

Threat intelligence to protect vulnerable communities

2 min read - Key members of civil society—including journalists, political activists and human rights advocates—have long been in the cyber crosshairs of well-resourced nation-state threat actors but have scarce resources to protect themselves from cyber threats. On May 14, 2024, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a High-Risk Communities Protection (HRCP) report developed through the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative that addresses the threat to these vulnerable groups, with findings contributed by the X-Force Threat Intelligence team.Cyber criminals seek stolen credentialsThe HRCP…

Evolving red teaming for AI environments

2 min read - As AI becomes more ingrained in businesses and daily life, the importance of security grows more paramount. In fact, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value, 96% of executives say adopting generative AI (GenAI) makes a security breach likely in their organization in the next three years. Whether it’s a model performing unintended actions, generating misleading or harmful responses or revealing sensitive information, in the AI era security can no longer be an afterthought to innovation.AI red teaming is emerging…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today