Business challenge

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, needed end-to-end security for a complex hybrid cloud environment, cloud-native applications and data — with the performance and availability its customers demand.

Transformation

IBM built a security solution that delivers superior protection with QRadar SIEM software, safeguards application development and manages General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

Results

Delivers visibility

across networks, applications and users

Detects threats

and targeted security events across the infrastructure

Analyzes data

in near real-time to prioritize high-risk events

Business challenge story

In-depth defense when media matters

The Weather Company helps people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather events. The company strives to deliver the most accurate forecasts globally — upwards of 25 billion per day — with personalized and actionable weather data and insights to more than 300 million people and thousands of businesses worldwide.

Major news outlets use The Weather Company’s suite of television, mobile and online products for advanced weather data and tools that infuse their broadcasts with everything from 2-D graphics to immersive augmented reality. Leading airlines streamline decision-making with The Weather Company’s aviation and in-flight weather products. Energy traders, insurance agents, federal and state workers, retail managers and many others rely on these insights to help make decisions that improve safety, reduce costs and drive revenue.

IBM acquired The Weather Company in 2016, bringing the AI and automation capabilities of IBM Watson® technology to the company’s cloud data platform. Since then, the company and IBM have pushed the boundaries of precision forecasting with media offerings that include broadcast television, digital products, video transcoding, distribution and streaming. From weather alerts and cloud-based managed services for data to operations dashboards and mobile apps, the company’s portfolio, like the weather itself, is far-reaching in its impact.

The Weather Company needed to implement end-to-end continuous security for its hybrid cloud environment, enterprise application development and data. The ideal solution would provide high availability and performance along with data protection, comprehensive visibility, and superior incident detection and response. The Weather Company required SecDevOps tools to safeguard and monitor application development while managing compliance with privacy standards such as GDPR.

IBM’s approach to cloud security is defense in depth.

Doug Foulds, Business Information Security Officer, The Weather Company, an IBM Business

Transformation story

Designed for security

“Cloud security is extremely dynamic,” says Doug Foulds, Business Information Security Officer for The Weather Company. “As new code is pushed to production, new vulnerabilities are reported — and new threats emerge to take advantage of those vulnerabilities.”

Using the QRadar SIEM solution, The Weather Company can detect and analyze threats in near real-time. From insider threats and ransomware to emerging threats such as Internet of Things (IoT) botnets and illicit cryptomining, the solution detects high-risk security incidents as it collects and correlates thousands of events per second, identifying and tracking unusual behavior. QRadar software combines related events into a single alert — freeing up valuable time to help ensure that security analysts can take swift action. Using the modular suite of integrated security tools, The Weather Company can tailor components to fine-tune a solution that specifically addresses the needs of an enterprise media company.

IBM builds security into the fabric of its cloud architectures with a structured approach to “defense in depth” that begins by analyzing and identifying vulnerabilities and threats across the infrastructure. Working with IBM, The Weather Company documented every aspect of its environment from a security perspective — firewall, content delivery network, app server, database server and so on. Teams developed a comprehensive plan for network segmentation to help protect the business from security intrusions. Keeping on top of every possible source of a security incident is a challenge, Foulds says, but that challenge is made more manageable with appropriate security tooling at the appropriate place in the systems development life cycle.

By involving DevOps early, The Weather Company implemented mature processes for application development, source-code testing for security vulnerabilities, and protection for deploying new applications. The more the solution fully integrates security into the daily workflow of the DevOps team, the more thoroughly it will be built into a project from the onset.

“IBM’s approach to cloud security is defense in depth,” says Foulds. “Security intelligence is about knowing what is happening in your environment — with your data and your applications. You have to think about security threats as early as possible in your design and requirement cycles, so that when you get to development you know exactly what you're building.”

Results story

Security-rich, with room to scale

IBM provided end-to-end continuous security for The Weather Company with superior- data protection, automation to manage regulatory compliance with standards such as GDPR, and a mature application development environment for Secure DevOps. The analytics capabilities of the QRadar solution helps streamline incident detection and enables IT security to respond more quickly to high-risk, targeted attacks and other security incidents.

In 2018, The Weather Company fully migrated its web properties and mobile apps to a secure and scalable infrastructure on IBM Cloud, and the company is currently in the process of migrating all of its lines of business to the platform. The QRadar solution proved to be the perfect choice to address the complex requirements of The Weather Company’s hybrid cloud environment because of its expansive array of offerings that not only addresses unique industry security needs but also provides support for other cloud providers.

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About The Weather Company, an IBM Business

The Weather Company helps people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate forecasts globally with personalized and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers, marketers and businesses through its business solutions division and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com). A global AI and cloud company, IBM is one of the largest technology and innovation employers in the world and serves clients in 170 countries. For more about IBM’s Weather business, visit newsroom.ibm.com/the-weather-company.

Solution components

Take the next step

To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative.