IBM Global Services Security Practice: Rising Profile

By Mel Duvall  |  Posted 2002-09-16 Print this article Print

Dossier: In the wake of September 11, Big Blue has reorganized its safety and security practice to complement its business continuity and disaster recovery offerings.

Security products and services have always been a big part of IBM Global Services' business. But after Sept. 11, IBM created a safety and security practice within Global Services, assembling its safety and security offerings—along with its substantial business continuity and disaster recovery services—under Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, a 20-year information technology veteran. The practice includes 3,000 consultants and about 100 researchers at her disposal.

PDF DownloadThe completeness of IBM's offerings, and the fact that its name lends a sense of comfort to customers, are among the primary reasons customers are attracted to its services. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island was under the gun with a 2001 deadline for making its information systems comply with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The organization brought in IBM to develop the technology plan and to assess its security policies and procedures.

"One of the chief reasons you bring in an organization like IBM is because you know they have the experience," says David Zink, the organization's vice president and CIO, who gives the company high marks for its work.

ChartOne, a San Jose-based company that stores medical records for about 1,400 hospitals in the U.S., retained IBM to consult on a security and storage-farm project. IBM now manages and provides disaster recovery services for the company's huge data warehouse. Sharad Patel, the company's chief technical officer, has been satisfied overall with IBM's work and ongoing support.

However, he says there were some problems early on in the project when IBM had to integrate its equipment with the company's Sun server environment. "Our engineering teams had to work together to make the hardware and software layer work together. But they stepped up to the plate to resolve the problem," Patel says.

The Napa Valley Wine Warehouse, a facility that stores wine for 54 wineries in California, brought IBM in to design and implement a secure extranet for its customers. General Manager Karen Ames was very satisfied with the work, but it came at a cost. "They are pricier, there's no way around that. But security was a big concern for me and my wineries," she says.

IBM Global Services Security Practice
3039 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
(919) 543-0091

Ticker: IBM
Exchange: NYSE
Employees: 3,100 (3,000 consultants, and 100 researchers dedicated to security practice)

Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair
General Manager, Safety and Security Practice
Joined IBM in 1996, becoming a vice president with Global Services. Previously held executive positions with Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and Rolm Corp.

Elizabeth Primrose-Smith
Vice President, Global Security Solutions
Appointed to position in 2001. Formerly in charge of IBM's sponsorship marketing efforts, including its huge involvement with the Olympic Games.

Harriet Pearson
Chief Privacy Officer
Responsible for guiding privacy policies across the company.

Security assessments, outsourcing, business continuity, disaster recovery. Partnered with Kroll for physical security.

Reference Checks

Napa Valley Wine Warehouse
Karen Ames
General Manager
Project: Used IBM to design and implement a secure extranet for the 54 wineries that use its facilities.

Union Bank of California
Robert Justus
Vice President, Systems and Contingency Planning
(415) 765-2969
Project: Brought IBM in to design and implement a secure online banking application.

Canadian Payments Association
Bob Hammond
General Manager
(613) 238-4173
Project: IBM designed and implemented a public key infrastructure project to allow for the secure exchange of transactions between banks and financial services companies. Also provided security assessment services.

Chart One
Sharad Patel
Chief Technical Officer
(408) 453-1600
Project: Brought IBM in to design and implement a secure storage farm to house medical records.

T. Rowe Price
Kirk Kness
Vice President, Application Architecture
(410) 345-2000
Project: Used IBM on a project to implement a secure access system so customers can gain access to multiple applications using one sign-on.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
David Zink
Vice President, CIO
(401) 459-1000
Project: Brought IBM in to consult on security to meet a 2001 deadline for making its information systems comply with the administrative standards of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Executives listed here have all been customers of IBM Global Services' security practice. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Contributing Editor
Mel Duvall is a veteran business and technology journalist, having written for a variety of daily newspapers and magazines for 17 years. Most recently he was the Business Commerce Editor for Interactive Week, and previously served as a senior business writer for The Financial Post.


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