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IBM opens cybersecurity center in Hauts-de-France

27 Feb 2018 | Front page, ICT, Investment

IBM chose Lille to host its French Security Operations Center (SOC), a state-of-the-art 24/7 hub serving companies in France and their foreign subsidiaries.

cybersecurity, IBM, hauts de france

Hauts-de-France the natural choice

IBM has been at Lille’s Euratechnologies industrial park since 2013, and in January opened its new Security Operations Center here. The move raises the percentage of IBMers based in Greater Lille to 20% of the US giant’s total French workforce.

For Nicolas Sekkaki, CEO of IBM France, Lille was a natural choice for the company’s new SOC. Reasons included:

  • The company’s longstanding presence in the region
  • Lille’s eco-system, judged ideal for new operations and growth
  • The region’s large pool of skilled labor
  • Location within easy reach of major French corporations’ head offices


IBM’s Security Operations Center (SOC) in Lille is unique in France and will be working with 60 other SOCs around the globe. Its mission: ensure data security for French companies, their foreign subsidiaries, and the French subsidiaries of foreign businesses. Previously security solutions for these entities were all managed from Poland.

For now the SOC has a dozen employees, but the figure is expected to rise to around 100 by 2021. By monitoring events around the clock, the team detects and analyzes IT vulnerabilities and attacks, helping users manage their systems’ security.

Seamless security

IBM’s Lille center takes a draconian approach to its own on-site security, including IDs and biometrics, and plans to apply for an official Security Visa from ANSSI, the French National Cybersecurity Agency.

Source: IBM, Les échos, La Voix du Nord

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