IBM has been awarded a new patent on an innovative data privacy invention that, according to the patent abstract, can help determine the applicability of data privacy regulations for enterprise data transmission.

"A data privacy regulation describes regulatory restrictions on data being transmitted from a first geopolitical entity to a second geopolitical entity," the patent abstract states. "A set of categorized data is used by an enterprise project, and the data privacy regulation establishes limitations on a transmission of at least one category of data, from the set of categorized data, from the first geopolitical entity to the second geopolitical entity."

The data privacy engine technology has applicability for data that moves across private cloud deployments that may be hosted in different countries.

"Global businesses today face significant challenges in protecting personal data and keeping up with regulations in an environment where information is moving at record speeds across borders," said Christina Peters, IBM's chief privacy officer, in a statement. "Our new invention provides a privacy technique that helps businesses navigate an increasingly complex compliance landscape of regulations to help companies avoid unknowingly sharing data that could put their business at risk."

Cloud Security Focus

Cloud security has been a particular emphasis for IBM in recent weeks. Earlier this month IBM announced its new Dynamic Cloud Security Portfolio. The cloud security portfolio includes visibility and control technologies for data moving in and out of the cloud.

"We have pivoted our entire security portfolio to the cloud to help customers lock down user access, control data and maintain visibility," Brendan Hannigan, general manager, IBM Security Systems said in a statement. "With the right visibility into threats, enterprises can more securely connect their people, data and processes to the cloud."

U.S. Hosts Most Malware

IBM isn't just pushing out new services without market context. The newly-published IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence report for the fourth quarter of 2014 provides insight into the current state of IT security.

Among the key insights in the IBM report is the fact that the U.S hosts more malware than any other country on the planet. The U.S is home to 43 percent of all malicious links seen by IBM in the fourth quarter while China is responsible for 11 percent and Germany is third at 8.3 percent.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.