Why IT Security Teams turn to IBM i and Power Systems

Storage as a Service - Home PageThe AV-Test Institute, an independent research organization, reported the team discovers more than 350,000 new malware samples every day. That is an overwhelming statistic for the IT team tasked with trying to keep an organization, and its data, secure. Many security experts agree that with the threat landscape as healthy as it is, and the near-infinite volume of malware and vulnerabilities, that a breach is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

Defense > Offense

The best offense is often a solid defense. In baseball, it is said that pitching wins games, not hitting. How this translates to the computing world is that in addition to focusing on securing the perimeter with firewalls and intrusion prevention tools, a hardened interior network is also a valuable security measure and is one of the reasons that makes IBM i running on IBM Power Systems a smart choice for security. 

IBM i is a self-contained operating system (OS), with a lot of robust security features built in, and it directly integrates with the applications running on it. This is an advantage over other, more widely deployed operating systems, like Windows. Third-party applications don’t always directly integrate with Windows, and when that app logs in, it does so in its own place, not in a centralized location. IBM i, on the other hand, through its centralized system and monolithic design, can offer applications a more direct integration with the OS itself, which reduces vulnerabilities and hardens the interior, making it much harder for hackers and malware to make lateral, or east-west, movements within the production environment in search of the critical data stores they hope to steal.

Stealthy matters

Another security advantage provided by IBM i and Power Systems is a bit of an unintended byproduct. IBM i and Power are specialized solutions, tailored to support specific industries, like healthcare, where Epic EMR software runs flawlessly. Being so specialized, IBM i’s exposure is not as wide as other operating systems. Windows, of course, is the most widely deployed OS in the world. And when you’re deployed in that many places, you’re the largest target.

Also due to the aforementioned speciality in the markets IBM Power serves, the boxes are stealthier out in the wild, making them less of a visible target. More commoditized solutions can be picked up anywhere by a blackhat wanting to discover vulnerabilities to exploit. IBM uses its own, proprietary chipsets, designed for speed, so a hacker must obtain an actual Power box if they want to search for vulnerabilities and test malware, which isn’t the easiest task. It’s good to not be a commodity.

To learn more about the benefits IBM Power has to offer, please read ‘Healthcare Digital Transformation with IBM Power Systems’ or contact us.


Drew Woods
Senior Marketing Communications Manager
Key Information Systems