Managed Security Services Pipe Up
Large enterprises are control freaks, so it's a stretch to imagine they’ll hand over their entire security infrastructure to third-party service providers. But as customers start to demand services that go beyond the usual detect-and-destroy process and actually halt threats before they hit their networks, activity in the intrusion prevention and DOS attack prevention sectors is accelerating.
In particular, network-based platforms that allow managed security service providers to provide a “clean pipe” to the customer are set for massive growth (see: Pipe Cleaners).
Examples are AT&T Corp.’s (NYSE: T) Internet Protect Service, which guarantees the customer’s Internet security by providing early alerts of potential attacks, backed by rebates for failing to do so, and MCI Inc.’s (Nasdaq: WCOEQ, MCWEQ) new intrusion prevention service launched in May this year.
Others providers have teamed up with specialist managed security firms to reduce the number of “false positives” generated by their intrusion prevention services (IPS). Equant (NYSE: ENT; Paris: EQU), for example, forwards alarms and alerts to security operations centers (SOCs) run by its partner Ubizen N.V. (Euronext: UBIB), which correlates alerts and identifies which ones might really spell trouble. This human response contrasts with sometimes overcautious, automated IPS offerings.
"The IPS product line is well hyped but will only improve when there are fewer false positives,” explains Peter Glock, head of security services at Equant, in the report. “Many customers have it ready, but are worried that turning it on will disrupt the applications and services they're running."
According to the Insider, companies with dispersed locations, such as restaurant chains or petrol stations, are the key short-term addressable market for network-based security, while some security specialists see managed security services as primarily an SMB play.
"Back in 2000, analysts were predicting that network-based security would be the big thing and failed to see that enterprises see IT infrastructure as a competitive advantage," comments Jeff Platon, senior director of marketing for network security at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).
"Now that the focus is shifting to smaller companies, there is a wider addressable market that does not have the same sunk costs that enterprises do and are more willing to outsource."
— Gabriel Brown, Chief Analyst, Light Reading Insider
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