IBM has bolstered the strategically-important Security Systems division it founded less than two years ago by acquiring rising star Trusteer for an undisclosed sum, the firms have announced.

The security division will turn Trusteer’s Israeli research and development core as the basis for a new 200-employee branded security labs as well as adding Trusteer’s financial security software to its growing arsenal of products for the large enterprises that are IBM’s target market.

Founded in 2006, Trusteer anchored its place with a browser security plug-in and server technology  called Rapport, a technology designed to counter man-in-the-middle attacks on online banking sessions. The timing was excellent; online banking was expanding rapidly and yet customers were almost defenceless against a relentless assault from malware including the infamous Zeus Trojan.

As usual, the banking industry was caught unawares and security firms such as Trusteer spotted the opportunity.

It has since expanded into mobile fraud prevention, cloud security-as-a-service, and even endpoint security designed to update and replace traditional antivirus.

“Trusteer’s expertise and superior technology in enterprise endpoint defense and advanced malware prevention will help our clients across all industries address the constantly evolving threats they are facing,” said Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, Security Systems Division, IBM.

Hannigan will understand Trusteer’s experience having become IBM’s security division head after his SIEM and analytics firm Q1 Labs was taken over in October 2011.

“Together with IBM’s capabilities in advanced threat detection, analysis and remediation, we will now be able to offer our clients several additional layers of defense against sophisticated attackers,” he said.

Trusteer will continue for the time being in its current shape with the same management, a company source told Techworld.

IBM was getting an entry into a security market in which it currently had no presence, he said, and the fit between the pair was complimentary. He was confident that within IBM the Trusteer-led labs would continue to innovate.