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July 29, 2010
Network-based security services are an increasingly important part of enterprise services, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) confirmed this week, as it launched the latest in its cloud-based security offerings, a protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks based on Arbor Networks technology. (See AT&T Upgrades Managed Security.)
Enterprises want security built into the other services they buy, says Joe Blanda, executive director of product marketing and management for AT&T managed security services, and they are especially looking for options that enable threats to be stopped within the network before they hit the customer premises.
"We have seen phenomenal adoption of network-based services over the past couple of years," Blanda says. "As customers become more educated, they are seeing the benefits of pushing a lot of this type of functionality into the carriers' hands rather than doing it themselves."
Economic conditions and the lack of enterprise expertise to deal with increasingly sophisticated threats have also made enterprises realize that they can no longer control their own security.
DDoS mitigation in particular is "the poster child" for a cloud-based service.
"There is no reason why customers should deal with fighting this type of threat at their door versus having AT&T stop it in the network," Blanda says.
Service providers are also more concerned with not hauling a lot of "dirty" traffic through their networks, consuming resources that are increasingly more precious, says Mat Mathews, VP of product management for Arbor Networks.
Typically, security is bundled into transport, managed hosting, or other services, but security can be a lead offer as well, he says.
The AT&T win is a major one for Arbor, which was vetted by AT&T Labs and came out on top, according to Blanda. "We have been helping providers secure their own infrastructure for some time now, and we have been talking to them about using the same platform to offer security for their customers," Mathews says.
One major advantage of the Arbor platform, Mathews claims, is that it enables "good" traffic to flow through the system even as "bad" traffic is quarantined, so that network service isn't disrupted by mitigation of DDoS attacks or other network threats.
In addition to the cloud-based DDoS protection, AT&T announced the AT&T Security Center portal, a centralized place for monitoring tools associated with a wide variety of AT&T security services.
The current offerings are for large and mid-sized enterprises, although Blanda acknowledges AT&T needs to find a cost-effective solution for smaller companies as well.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading
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