RealTime IT News

IBM Transmits Info Under Cover

IBM has created new software that helps companies share information without revealing its origin, a breakthrough at a time when protecting user identities remains a major challenge.

DB2 Anonymous Resolution helps customers share records or documents with other organizations while protecting the identity of individuals involved in a data exchange.

The software, designed to thwart identity theft, or accidental information disclosure, employs irreversible digital signatures that keep data from being observed in its original form.

This type of technology can help in such areas as privacy and regulatory compliance and in due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, or even in medical fields. For example, the software may be used by hospitals to share and correlate data that has been stripped of personal information for medical research.

Anonymous Resolution is the newest product from IBM's entity analytics business, which was known as SRD before IBM acquired it in January 2005 to boost its information management business. It fits squarely into IBM's information management business, which lets customers share and analyze data across a variety of computing sources, including different applications, databases and repositories.

John Slitz, vice president of IBM entity analytics, said Anonymous Resolution was originally known as Anna under SRD. The software follows SRD's creation of Eric and Nora, which became DB2 Identity Resolution and DB2 Relationship Resolution, respectively.

Slitz, former CEO at SRD prior to Big Blue's acquisition, said one scenario where Anonymous Resolution can make a difference is in comparing a list of customers in a financial institution and a list of money launderers.

"You can compare the two, 'anonymizing' both lists, and only those where there was a deterministic match between the bad-guy list and the customer list would be alerted," he said.

Separately, IBM said it has leveraged its Tivoli management software and Rational software development lines to propose new products that can zero in on and repair glitches in business applications.

IBM Problem Resolution Toolkit for Rational Application Developer and IBM Performance Optimization Toolkit for Rational Performance Tester cut software fix times from days to hours, or even minutes.

The Rational products borrow troubleshooting perks from Tivoli's Monitoring for Transaction Performance software, which helps customers diagnose and fix transaction performance problems.