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Bolster your security posture with database activity monitoring services


2 min read

Data is growing faster than ever

Data is everywhere—being created, consumed, and captured by digital users, organizations, and industries across the world. The volume of data is increasing due to the growing mobile data traffic, cloud computing traffic, and adoption of technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report, the world’s data is estimated to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025, and about half of the world’s data is expected to reside in public cloud environments.1

There’s no doubt that data has become a strategic business asset and, as a result, it can be a target for cyberattacks. The 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report reveals the scale of the problem: 80% of breached organizations said that customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised during the breach, far more than any other type of record.2 Customer PII was also the costliest type of data compromised, averaging USD 150 per record.2

A data breach can cost organizations millions.2

USD 3.86 million
is the average cost of a data breach
of data breach cases included customer PII
USD 150
was the average cost per lost or stolen record
of data breaches were caused by malicious attacks

With more individuals shifting to remote work in a post-pandemic world, organizations are facing increased pressure to employ new security measures. The risk of a data breach is now estimated to be higher because individuals may use unprotected personal devices to access corporate data, which are increasingly stored in hybrid and multicloud environments. In fact, 76% of organizations that have shifted to remote work expect that working from home could increase the time it takes to identify and contain a data breach.2 How can organizations keep pace?

In this smart paper, we first look at today’s challenges of protecting and retaining visibility and control of sensitive data in a hybrid, multicloud world. The paper then explores how IBM Security™ Database Activity Monitoring Services can help organizations bolster their data security and compliance postures to meet those challenges.

2 Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, IBM Security, July 2020.


2 min read

Expanding the data footprint increases organizations’ attack surface

Where does your sensitive data reside?
Does your security team know who can access it?
How do you address compliance issues?

These questions are valid. But they may be difficult to answer. The complexity of modern data landscape environments introduces multiple challenges for enterprise data security and compliance.

Complexities of data security and compliance in hybrid, multicloud environments

Cloud has become the default platform for many organizations to run their IT applications.

And it’s easy to see why. Faster time to market, agility, and lower IT costs are just some of the benefits of migrating to the cloud. According to one study, most organizations are using more than two public and two private clouds on average.1

While cloud computing allows new levels of flexibility and agility, it also creates a complex security landscape with limited visibility and fragmented controls. For example, organizations share security and compliance responsibilities with their cloud service providers, also known as a shared responsibility model. This arrangement can be challenging for security and compliance teams to have visibility and control of their data landscape across cloud environments. Even if a data vulnerability is found, organizations lack total control over the service provider’s security remediation process.

Your security team should know where your most sensitive data resides and who has access to it, whether the access level is approved, and if it represents any risk to the enterprise. After all, you can’t protect what you can’t see.

Cloud misconfigurations were a leading cause of data breaches in 2020.2

Compliance management

Regulatory compliances and audit requirements are driving the need for data protection. Regulatory laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are shifting mindsets about data privacy—giving consumers more awareness and control over their data. For example, the landmark CCPA gives Californians strong data privacy rights, including the right to know, the right to delete, the right to opt out of sale of personal data and the right to nondiscrimination.3

The failure to comply with any one of these data privacy laws could result in hefty fines, damage to reputation, and even loss of business. For example, companies that don’t follow the GDPR rules could potentially face penalties of up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual global revenue.4 Achieving continuous compliance is critical to avoiding potential lawsuits and regulatory investigations regarding data privacy.

Flat siloed map of world with blue dots
APPI Japan
CCPA California
Data Protection Act Ghana
GDPR Europe
PDPB India
PDPA Singapore
NDPR Nigeria

Regulatory compliances have become a global challenge. Following Europe and the US, more regional, national and international data privacy laws are being launched.

Skills shortage

As cyberthreats continue to rise, organizations face the challenge of hiring security professionals who can keep up with today’s sophisticated security threats and protect their companies’ systems from malicious actors. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that by 2021, there’ll be more than 3.5 million open cybersecurity jobs.5

USD 3.5 million
is the estimated job openings in cybersecurity5

Clearly, addressing the security challenges of today’s hybrid, multicloud environment requires more than just an advanced security tool. Your organization needs a combination of expertise, data monitoring services, practices, and tools to securely realize the benefits from your cloud environments. A managed security services provider (MSSP) can manage all those tasks with a single point of contact across services and technologies.

Having an MSSP at the helm can help your organization decrease management time, lower costs, and eliminate hiring and training of staff—freeing up your team’s time to focus on more strategic initiatives.

IBM was ranked a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Global Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs), Q3 2020
IDC analysts rank IBM as a Leader for Worldwide Managed Security Services in 2020.
2 Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, IBM Security, July 2020
3 California Consumer Privacy Act, State of California, Department of Justice, 2021


3 min read

Introducing IBM Security™ Database Activity Monitoring Services

IBM Security Database Activity Monitoring Services utilizes the IBM Security Guardium® Data Protection solution platform to offer end-to-end centralized data monitoring services for a wide range of cloud environments. The portfolio of services includes consulting, systems integration, and managed security services.

Key capabilities

  • Protects business-critical data from insider and external threats
  • Continuously monitors data access and usage patterns to quickly uncover suspicious activities
  • Discovers and classifies sensitive data essentially wherever it resides
  • Provides control over separation of duties by monitoring privileged user activities
  • Accelerates response to threats through advanced analytics and helps you make informed decisions
  • Prioritizes risks with contextual insights and cognitive analytics
  • Protects your sensitive data through flexible access policies and enforcement

Utilizes the IBM Security Guardium Data Protection solution platform

With the IBM Security Guardium Data Protection solution, your security teams can protect data across the enterprise without changes to databases or applications. The IBM Security Guardium Data Protection solution can help you manage security and compliance by monitoring for threats and providing a consolidated view of your risk and compliance posture across environments.

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KuppingerCole names IBM Security Guardium a leader in its
Leadership Compass on Database and Big Data Security solutions.

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Platform and policy management

IBM Security professionals can work with your team to deploy, configure, and integrate solutions across your hybrid and multicloud environments. We can advise you on patches, upgrades, and how to get the most out of your infrastructure.

  • Device deployment and integration
  • Data discovery and classification
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Device administration and management
  • Device patching and periodic upgrades
  • Device health, availability, and performance monitoring
  • Security policy enforcement
  • Policy change management
  • Policy and configuration backup
  • Accelerated compliance workflows and audit activities
  • File activity monitoring

Alert monitoring and response

IBM Security professionals can provide continuous data activity monitoring and alerts in real time.

  • Privileged user tracking and monitoring
  • Repetitive login failure monitoring
  • Detection of unauthorized access attempts
  • Advanced data analytics for outlier detection
  • Blocking and quarantining of suspicious activities
  • Data extrusion detection
  • Suspension and shutdown of noncompliant sessions
  • Centralized auditing of data for report generation

Simplified audit and compliance reporting

Complying with government and industry regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), CCPA, GDPR, Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) Act, and many others, can be a daunting task.

IBM Security Database Activity Monitoring Services accelerates data compliance workflows by making audit data more readily available for compliance reporting, including who accessed the data, when it was accessed, and from where. Our services, combined with the IBM Security Guardium Data Protection solution, can help you better respond to compliance mandates by simplifying audit and compliance reporting to reduce the time required to prepare for regulatory compliances and data audits.

A Total Economic Impact (TEI) assessment of the IBM Security Guardium platform revealed that using the Guardium platform can help organizations provide compliance across a variety of environments. The report also found that the Guardium platform helped the interviewed organization quickly meet compliance mandates, saving the organization USD 1.1 million over three years, while lowering the probability that it would experience a regulatory fine by 2%.


2 min read

Benefits of IBM Security Database Activity Monitoring Services

IBM Security™ Database Activity Monitoring Services is designed to meet your data security needs essentially wherever you are in your IT journey—helping you identify and prevent potential malicious data activities across hybrid and multicloud environments.

The IBM team is comprised of global security experts with decades of experience with organizations using cloud environments. From advisory services to steady-state managed services, IBM offers flexible options to meet your compliance and security mandates.

A woman looking at the computer screen with multiple monitors in the background

Consulting services

If your organization is just starting out with data activity monitoring, the IBM team can provide advisory services to help discover and classify your current security capabilities. We can help create an actionable plan to protect your data and craft a data monitoring strategy that’s aligned with your business goals.

Systems integration services

The IBM team can provide system integration services, helping you install and configure the IBM Security Guardium® Data Protection solutions.

Managed security services

IBM offers managed security services to proactively manage your data activity monitoring solution to help keep your digital assets secure and ensure minimal impact to operations. This global service is designed to continuously monitor your on-premises, hybrid and multicloud environments for threats to help protect against unauthorized and malicious data activities.

Five pictograms representing end to end services
End-to-end services across hybrid multicloud environments to help you achieve data security and compliance
  • Consulting services
    Data discovery and classification
  • Systems integration services
    Guardium systems integration
  • Managed security services
    Data activity monitoring
  • Continuous regulatory compliance

IBM Security Database Activity Monitoring Services helps your organization by:

  • Providing threat intelligence using expertise and skills from global IBM Security services
  • Offering centralized visibility across hybrid, multicloud environments to monitor who is accessing data, when, and where
  • Simplifying audit and compliance reporting that helps reduce the time required to prepare for a data audit
  • Strengthening policy enforcement to continuously detect anomalies and escalate them to clients
  • Helping continuously monitor for threats to protect against unauthorized and malicious data activities before they occur
  • Offering data protection platform monitoring using centralized device health, performance monitoring, and availability checks
  • Reducing traffic to security information and event management (SIEM) platform and security operations center (SOC) using advanced analytics features of the IBM Security Guardium solution
  • Enforcing separation of duties to monitor privileged user activity and prevent any conflict of interest that could result in malicious behavior or abuse of privileged access.
  • Providing security expertise so clients can focus their staff on business initiatives while reducing risk exposures and improving data stewardship
  • Reducing multivendor complexity through one contract, one product and services vendor, and one seamless global delivery team with IBM Security


2 min read


The hybrid and multicloud landscapes are rapidly evolving and the pressure to protect sensitive data and manage IT operations while reducing costs is relentless. On top of it all, there’s a large number of employees working from home, potentially connecting from unsecured devices and accessing business data. Security leaders must find new and innovative ways of protecting their sensitive business data that now resides in multiple environments.

Database activity monitoring technology must be a key part of your organization’s data security program. With so many choices available, it may not be feasible to experiment and hope for a positive outcome. Instead, your business should opt for a strong governance model combined with an expertise-led security solution and ongoing services to safeguard sensitive data.

With IBM Security™ Database Activity Monitoring Services, your organization can achieve continuous data activity monitoring that enables centralized visibility and control of your business data and compliance posture. Through our comprehensive set of consulting, systems integration, and managed security data activity monitoring services, we can help protect your data essentially wherever it resides—to help secure your business-critical data across a full range of environments.

About IBM Security

IBM Security works with you to help protect your business with an advanced and integrated portfolio of enterprise security products and services. Infused with AI, these products and services modernize your security strategy according to zero trust principles, helping you thrive in the face of uncertainty. Our approach aligns your security strategy to your business; integrates solutions designed to protect your digital users, assets, and data; and deploys technology to manage your defenses. As a result, you can manage and govern risk and grow with a modern open approach that supports today’s hybrid cloud environments.

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