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IBM lights on Watchfire

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IBM has burned an undisclosed sum of money to acquire Watchfire, a Massachusetts-based security firm, the IT omnicorp announced on Wednesday.

Watchfire is a specialist in web application security, focusing on testing and development. IBM says it will integrate the technology into its Rational Software development platform, which as an IBM partner, it was already optimised for. It'll also be flogged in a compliance play alongside IBM Tivoli storage and network management software.

It fits with the current vogue for talking up security as a top priority from the start on the development process, rather than an after-the-fact headache. This latest software security buy follows IBM's $1.3bn swallow of ISS last August.

IBM Rational general manager Danny Sabah provided the canned justification: "Watchfire...will further strengthen our ability to help customers mitigate risk by integrating security, quality testing and compliance testing requirements early in the software development process - before vulnerabilities are exposed."

Founded in 1996, Watchfire had built up about 800 customers across industry. IBM's release is here. ®

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