The enhancements are focused on three areas: lowering the cost of network and data protection, extending IBM mainframe security for Linux, and enabling customers to meet security compliance regulations, according to IBM.
"Leading retailers, as well as governmental and financial institutions, have historically selected the mainframe as a secure repository and transaction hub for their most critical data," said Jim Stallings, general manager for IBM System z, in a written statement. "As more and more midsized businesses choose the mainframe, we want to be certain that they can make use of security features available to larger businesses."
According to IBM, New System z security advancements include enhancements to System z9 network encryption, and planned System z operating system support for the new midrange 3400 Tape Library featuring encrypting drives.
On the Linux front, IBM also announced new support for secure-key encryption with CryptoExpress2 and Security Enhanced Linux for System z (SELinux).
According to a recent IBM survey, 64 % of CIOs polled said security, compliance, and data protection are among the most significant challenges facing IT organizations.
Mainframes still have a stronghold in the United States and are becoming more popular in emerging markets like China, India, and South America, according to a January report from the Butler Group, an IT research firm based in England. The study showed that 70% of organizations and governments are running critical applications on mainframes.