IBM lets customers, partners write apps for QRadar threat intelligence platform

Apps will be vetted by IBM, made available via Security App Exchange
  • Tim Greene (Network World)
  • 09 December, 2015 18:15

IBM is launching a program where customers can share apps they write to augment IBM’s QRadar platform that analyzes security data, detects behavior anomalies and sorts out high-priority risks from the mass of incidents it examines.

To accomplish this, the company is opening APIs into QRadar, issuing software developer kits and creating a Security App Exchange where these custom apps can be distributed.

The exchange has already been seeded with 14 apps written by IBM itself and some of its partners including Bit9 + Carbon Black, BrightPoint Security, Exabeam and Resilient Systems.

Four of these apps are:

  • User Behavior Analytics – Integrates Exabeam’s analysis of user behaviors and risk profiling into QRadar’s dashboard.
  • Threat Intelligence – Pulls data from threat feeds and create rules about how to handle the data, such as raising the threat score for incidents involving IP addresses from a particular watch list.
  • Carbon Black App for QRadar – Analyzes data from Carbon Black’s endpoint sensors within the QRadar interface, enabling faster responses to endpoint attacks.
  • Incident Overview – A visualization app that uses bubbles, colors and correlation lines to help analysts quickly identify links among incidents.

IBM says it will vet applications before they are made available in the app exchange. Dozens of businesses have joined the exchange, the company says, and the apps are free.

IBM says its business partners will receive automatic invitations to join the app program, and QRadar customers can request access through their QRadar-certified technical professionals.

Writing the apps requires Python-based programming skills and knowledge of common Web Development tools, the company says.

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Opening up QRadar to customers and partners is part of continuing steps for IBM to encourage collaboration among vendors and businesses in order to fight cyber attacks. Earlier this year it opened its 700TB threat-intelligence database via IBM X-Force Exchange and it will open up more of its technologies, says Kevin Skapinetz, director of strategy for IBM Security.

He says the overall push is for IBM, its partners and its customers to collaborate and share knowledge and tools as effectively or better than attackers do.

Meanwhile IBM is announcing a new release of QRadar that supports customer rules to trigger actions such as blocking users’ access to certain IP addresses based on their risk profiles. QRadar is now more closely integrated with its BigFix endpoint security management platform to prioritize threats and patches on endpoints. It can find endpoints that don’t have BigFix installed in order to reveal shadow IT and other unmanaged devices.