IBM snaps up Israeli cloud data security start-up Polar Security

17 May 2023

Image: © Nikolay N. Antonov/

The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed for the company that IBM hopes will help its customers deal with ‘shadow data’.

IBM has made its fifth acquisition of the year with Polar Security, an Israeli cloud security start-up.

Founded in Tel Aviv two years ago, Polar Security has developed a platform for data security posture management, an emerging area of cybersecurity which deals with identifying and tracking where sensitive cloud data is stored, who has access to it and how it’s used.

The company claims that the platform can find underlying security issues in areas ranging from policies and configurations to data usage, and aims to address the growing problem of ‘shadow’ data, sensitive data that is not being tracked or managed.

“Once discovered, Polar Security classifies the data, maps the potential and actual flow of that data, and identifies vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations, over-entitlements and behaviour that violates policy or regulations,” Dinesh Nirmal, a senior VP at IBM, wrote in a blog.

“Based on a risk-based prioritisation methodology, Polar Security provides remediation reports that pinpoint the most pressing security risks and compliance violations and provides an analysis of the underlying causes and practical recommendations to address them.”

Financial details for the deal were not disclosed. IBM has acquired more than 30 companies in hybrid cloud and AI since Arvind Krishna became CEO of the company in April 2020.

IBM will integrate Polar Security’s technology within its Guardium family of data security products.

This will provide security teams with a data security platform that “spans all data types across all storage locations – SaaS, on-premises and in public cloud infrastructure,” Nirmal wrote.

Earlier this year, IBM, which spun off its IT infrastructure business as Kyndryl in 2021, announced it was planning to cut 3,900 jobs even as it surpassed expectations in its quarterly earnings report in January.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic