IBM has updated its z13 mid-range mainframe with a more powerful microprocessor and a renewed emphasis on encryption.
The z13s has updated cryptographic co-processor cards, faster processors and more memory to enable it to process twice as many transactions, IBM claimed.
The company was keen to assert the new z13s security credentials. In addition to the improved cryptography and transactional performance, IBM is using the platform to promote z Systems Cyber Security Analytics.
This, it claimed, learns user behaviour and is able to detect anomalous patterns on the platform, alerting administrators to potential malicious activity. The z Systems Cyber Security Analytics service will be available for no extra charge as a beta for z13 and z13s customers.
IBM Multi-factor Authentication has also been released on z/OS, the z Series mainframe operating system. This will add another layer of security by requiring privileged users to enter a second form of identification, such as a PIN or randomly generated token, to gain access to the system.
Surprisingly, perhaps, IBM claimed that this is the first time multi-factor authentication has been integrated with the operating system rather than through add-on software. This level of integration ought to deliver more streamlined configuration and better stability and performance, according to IBM.
"This speed of secure transactions, coupled with new analytics technology helping to detect malicious activity and integrated IBM Security offerings, will help mid-sized clients grow their organisation with peace of mind," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president at IBM Systems.
Users of the system can be tracked with IBM Security Guardium, which provides real-time "intelligent data monitoring". The system tracks which users are accessing what data so that potential threat sources can be identified in the event of a security breach.
The announcement came on the same day IBM revealed that the US Defence Information Systems Agency has given the firm security clearance for IBM Cloud services to be used at the highest security levels.
IBM said that this could pave the way for Department of Defence agencies looking to use the cloud to host data and run big data queries with the necessary security regulations in place.
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