International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) appears to be turning its focus on network security and in particular identity management.

IBM International Business Machines

IBM’s investment in CrossIdeas

In recently purchasing Lighthouse Security Group, which offers cloud-based identity management services for large enterprises, the company complements a purchase made several weeks ago.  Then IBM invested in CrossIdeas, which offers software to limit the applications and information on a cloud network that an employee can access.

IBM did not announce terms of the acquisition.

IBM is committed to product development and said it will combine the Lighthouse and CrossIdeas technologies to build a full suite of security software.  The combined offering will be designed to protect and manage users’ identities. The concept behind identity management technology is to insure that digital content and computer services are private, not accessible by those without permission.

IBM using category interest to generate new business

The investment in identity management is a chief concern for IBM, falling under the umbrella of digital security – an increasingly important focus on Wall Street, according to traders.  International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is using this category interest to generate new business, investing over $1 billion annually in enterprise security-related research.  IBM employs over 6,000 security researchers and computer developers in 25 security facilities worldwide, according to a report. The combination of research and acquisitions are delivering results at IBM, as the firm claimed to enjoy 20 percent growth security-related revenue in the first half of 2014.  It was unclear from press reports what percentage of this revenue growth was attributed to organic growth and what was attributed to acquisitions.

Lighthouse backgroud

Lighthouse’s primary product, called Lighthouse Gateway, provides employee and contractor identity capabilities as a cloud service, determining how to route employees to the information they need and have access to review.  The system was built using the IBM Tivoli management platform as the programming base.

The Lighthouse service is catering to work at home corporate employees.  It offers identity management as a service, allowing users to manage employees who access corporate information from outside the firewall alongside employees who use personal computers and devices. This is a common scenario among corporations that promote companies to work from home or to work with their own computer devices.

Lighthouse also provides federation services, which gives an organization the opportunity to share parts of its identity management database with other organizations. It also provides a self-service capability for users to register themselves.