IBM has unveiled services and software designed to battle online identity theft, centred around the company's forthcoming 4.6 version of Tivoli Identity Manager.
The software, scheduled for release in the third quarter, promises to make it easier to create and remove user accounts. It also offers centralised reports to monitor compliance with internal security policy and legislation.
The application includes a simulation tool designed to predict the implications of policy changes, showing which users have access to a critical application after the change and preventing staff members becoming needlessly locked out.
IBM has also started offering special identity services through its Global Services consultancy arm, in partnership with Viisage.
Identity theft often involves criminals gaining access to confidential information to fraudulently apply for loans and credit cards in the victim's name. Other scams range from online phishing attacks to company insiders abusing customer information.
IBM's offering focuses on the latter, enabling organisations to limit employee access to confidential information and to manage user accounts for computer systems.
"Many businesses are trying to deal with security threats coming at them from every direction," said Cal Slemp, IBM's vice president for security and privacy services, adding that a breach of an organisation's user data could dent its reputation and brand.
A large number of security breaches related to identity theft have surfaced in recent months. Reed Elsevier's Lexis Nexis database was compromised in March, exposing personal data on up to 310,000 individuals.
After hackers gained access to one user account, they succeeded in creating numerous additional log-ins and passwords. Proper monitoring could have prevented the breach getting out of hand.
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