Palo Alto Networks and IBM to Jointly Provide AI-powered Security Offerings

Author photo: Larry O'Brien
ByLarry O'Brien
Acquisition or Partnership

Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity supplier, and IBM, a provider of hybrid cloud and AI, announced a broad-reaching partnership to deliver AI-powered security outcomes for customers. 

The expanding and complex enterprise technology landscape, driven by digital transformation and the rapid growth of AI, presents significant cybersecurity challenges. To address increasingly sophisticated threats and evolving attack surfaces, organizations are prioritizing comprehensive security platforms that are underpinned by AI. Palo Alto Networks and IBM aim to help streamline and transform security operations, stop threats at scale, and accelerate incident remediation for their customers with the complete AI-powered approach that is required. These industry dynamics, paired with today's partnership announcement, present significant opportunities for both companies.

AI-powered Security

As part of this expanded partnership, Palo Alto Networks has agreed to acquire IBM's QRadar SaaS assets, including QRadar intellectual property rights, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Palo Alto Networks and IBM will facilitate the migration of QRadar SaaS clients to Cortex XSIAM, the next-generation security operations (SOC) platform, with advanced AI-powered threat protection supported by 3,000 out-of-the-box detectors. On-premise (on-prem) QRadar clients who wish to remain on QRadar on-prem will continue to receive IBM features and support including security, usability and critical bug fixes, as well as updates to existing connectors and the ability to expand consumption. For both QRadar SaaS and on-prem clients who chose to migrate to Cortex XSIAM, the companies, along with their ecosystem of business partners, will closely collaborate to enable a smooth transfer, with IBM and Palo Alto Networks offering no-cost migration services to qualified customers. As part of this agreement, IBM will receive incremental payments from Palo Alto Networks for QRadar on-prem clients who choose to migrate to the Cortex XSIAM platform.    

Companies to Establish Joint Security Operations Center

IBM Consulting will be a preferred Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) for current and future Palo Alto Networks customers. In addition, a joint Security Operations Center will feature a managed SOC, and the companies will also establish a joint Cyber Range that will offer immersive experiences for customers to further understand the value of Palo Alto Networks security products. IBM's experts with global, regional, and local delivery capabilities will use watsonx, IT automation, and threat intelligence to enhance advisory efforts and drive growth and adoption of Palo Alto Networks security platforms.

As IBM's cybersecurity partner of choice, Palo Alto Networks' leading cybersecurity solutions will be accessible in IBM's Consulting Advantage AI services platform, including the building of assets and repeatable methods to support scale. Together, Palo Alto Networks and IBM will accelerate consultant training, enabling more than 1,000 IBM experts to provide optimal migration, deployment, and adoption services across Palo Alto Networks platforms. IBM will also build industry-vertical capabilities on top of Cortex XSIAM, leveraging watsonx. Consistent with IBM partnerships with other major technology companies, IBM anticipates that this alliance will drive a significant security book of business with Palo Alto Networks.

Strengthening Mutual Customer Relationships

IBM intends to expand its deployment of Palo Alto Networks AI-powered security platforms internally, adopting Cortex XSIAM for next-gen security operations and Prisma SASE 3.0 for zero-trust network security to safeguard more than 250,000 of its global workforce. IBM's adoption of security platformization is a marquee example of how customers can benefit from the streamlined operations of security products across the Palo Alto Networks portfolio.

Palo Alto Networks intends to integrate watsonx LLMs into Cortex XSIAM to drive additional automation capabilities, as well as leverage IBM's watsonx to accelerate its roadmap to improve customer support outcomes. watsonx will help Palo Alto Networks proactively address known technical issues, create tailored self-service solutions, and boost overall agent productivity within Palo Alto Networks customer support operations. In addition, Palo Alto Networks plans to deploy other IBM software products to benefit from the latest innovations in cloud and automation.

Bringing DevSecOps Capabilities to Market

Through this collaboration, IBM will expand its relationship with Prisma Cloud, the industry's comprehensive cloud native application protection platform (CNAPP). Prisma Cloud will expand its existing integrations with current and future IBM DevOps offerings, including cloud-native security built for Red Hat OpenShift and Ansible. IBM's strength in DevOps, coupled with Palo Alto Networks cloud security expertise, will embolden "secure-by-design" DevSecOps capabilities for joint customers to help prevent insecure code from running in cloud workloads in production.

The transaction portion of this announcement is expected to close by the end of September 2024 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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