For UBS of Switzerland, which operates under decentralized management around the globe, maintaining consistent levels of security is a constant challenge.
"One weakness can endanger the entire organization," said Wendy Nather, a director of information technology at UBS in Chicago.
Recently, the bank tapped Internet Security Systems Inc. of Atlanta for software to protect its various connections-including the Internet, extranets, and internal networks-around the world.
Patrick Taylor, director of strategic marketing at Internet Security, described its SafeSuite products as "the network nanny."
"We look for inherent weaknesses on a Web server," he said.
With software such as the Internet Scanner, System Scanner, and RealSecure, an institution's networks and servers can be checked in-house by an Internet Security research team called the X-Force. Internet Security monitors company rules and can tell if someone is violating them.
"Our design principle is to make products that work in the real-world environment, and that's how we get embraced by the network management guys," said Mr. Taylor.
Internet Security is working with nine of the 10 largest commercial banks in the United States, more than 35 governmental agencies, and a number of global banks.
Last month the company introduced SafeSuite Decisions, software that collects and analyzes information about security throughout an institution's multiple locations. The goal is to provide a global view of the safety of an enterprise.
Such enterprisewide software speaks to people like Ms. Nather, who says security products need to have the monitoring capabilities of any modern systems management product.
Without the ability to operate across an enterprise, security products can be used once but have "no facility to manage follow-up or make changes," Ms. Nather said. "It makes it more difficult to use tools effectively."
Christopher Klaus, 25, founded Internet Security four years ago and is now its chief technology officer. The company employs nearly 300 and has 20 offices worldwide. The cost of its security products depends on the number of computers being scanned.
Internet Security has entered into an original equipment manufacturer agreement with the data encryption vendor Entrust Technologies Inc. The company's host-based vulnerability detection software, System Scanner, can be integrated with Entrust's public key infrastructure.