IBM wants to make data security blindness among C-level executives a thing of the past.

The technology giant's enterprise security division last week announced it is in the process of acquiring San Francisco cybersecurity specialist Agile 3 Solutions, makers of software that enables senior executives to visualize and manage the risks to their critical business data. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Key to the Agile 3's technology is the ability to present security data in a manner that is easy for non-experts to understand.  

"The C-Suite requires a high level of actionable business context, consumable by an audience that is often non-technical," Gregg Barrow, partner at IBM Security Services, told eSecurity Planet. "Agile 3 technology combines the business-level risk data that it collects on its own with data fed from other security products to present a single business-level view of the risk to critical data. This helps busy executives gather information quickly and easily."

Cybersecurity may have emerged as a top priority in today's digital economy, but there remains a dangerous disconnect between IT security personnel and the upper echelons of executive leadership at many organizations.

Forty percent of IT professionals in the financial services, healthcare and manufacturing industries believe that C-suite executives pose the biggest risk to information security, found a survey from enterprise rights management specialist Seclore. Last year, the Ponemon Institute discovered that more than a third of C-level executives are never updated when security incidents occur.

With Agile 3's solutions, IBM plans to bring greater sense of security awareness to the C-suite. By delivering a clearer picture of where an organization's sensitive data resides and the potential risks involved, CIOs, CISOs and other top executives can make informed decisions about how to best safeguard customer records, intellectual property and other vital business information.

"Agile 3 Solutions provides this information through an intuitive, graphical dashboard that is designed specifically for executive-level use," said Barrow. "This dashboard displays information in a concise and easy-to-use manner, allowing executives to see the location of their sensitive data, which applications and processes are accessing that data, what part of the organization owns the data, how the data is being used, and what data-related security risks their organizations may be facing."

The companies expect the deal to close within the next several weeks. IBM plans to offer Agilegu 3's solutions through its Data Security Services unit. The technology will also be integrated into IBM's Guardium enterprise data protection software.