IBM acquires Internet security firm for $1.3b

US technology giant IBM will spend $1.3 billion in cash to acquire Internet Security Systems Inc. (ISS), which performs network monitoring and analysis services for companies, an Associated Press report said.


The report said the deal valued ISS at $28 a share, an 8% premium to ISS's close at $26 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. If the acquisition is approved by shareholders, the companies expect it to close in the fourth quarter, the report said.


IBM has now agreed to buy three public companies this month alone.


Two weeks ago, it reached a pact to buy document-management software provider FileNet for $1.6 billion. On August 3, it agreed to spend $740 million for MRO Software, which helped industrial companies track physical assets.


Buying ISS could bolster IBM's ability to take on what it called "managed security services" for its business customers, the report said.


ISS helps guard against data theft and other problems with automated monitoring products and with technical consultants, who now will be part of IBM's vast services arm.


ISS said its 11,000 customers included 17 of the world's largest banks.