IBM selects Austin for security testing lab location

by Kelly O'Halloran
August 6, 2018
ibm iot
photo via shutterstock

IBM Security announced today that Austin has been named the leading location among a network of four new security quality testing facilities.

Atlanta; Melbourne, Australia; and Hursley, England will also host hubs under the network, named X-Force Red Labs.

The name is a nod to the internal group of veteran IBM Security hackers that formed two years ago, called X-Force Red. The group has grown quickly since inception, recently adding key industry experts like Ivan Reedman and Thomas MacKenzie. It has also grown its client base by over 170 percent just in the last year.

IBM X-Force Red has one mission — hack anything to secure everything.”


X-Force Red will oversee all four locations and will be tasked with identifying security vulnerabilities before and after market rollout for consumer and industrial products and systems. These products include IoT technologies, automotive equipment and, due to rising demand, financial transaction systems like ATMs.

“IBM X-Force Red has one mission — hack anything to secure everything,” said Charles Henderson, global managing partner, IBM X-Force Red, in a statement. “Via X-Force Red Labs, we have the ability to do just that, in a secure and controlled environment. Whether it’s the newest smartphone that hasn’t been released, an internet-connected refrigerator or a new ATM, we have the capability to test, identify and help our clients remediate vulnerabilities before the bad guys can exploit them.”

The labs’ services include documentation of product requirements with product engineers, deep data technical analyses, threat disclosures that identify who is most likely to attack and why, security requirement lists, and hacker testing that models the same approaches used by actual cyber criminals.

A representative for IBM said that the team in Austin plays “an increasingly important part of IBM’s $3 billion security strategic imperative,” which grew by 80 percent last quarter.

IBM was one of the first major tech companies to invest in Austin, having set up a plant for its Selectric Typewriter in 1967. Since then, its built a local employee base of nearly 6,000, representing nearly every part of IBM. The company launched its research lab, one of 12 throughout the world, in 1995 and its headquarters for design in 2013 — both in Austin.

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