Security Platforms/Tools

Verizon Puts Security in the Cloud

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is launching a new cloud-based security service in an unusual way. Beginning in June, the new managed security service will be offered at no charge to Verizon's public and Private IP customers, and those who buy its Secure Gateway service.

Called a "clean pipe" offering, the security-as-a-service product will provide antivirus, anti-spam, anti-malware, and URL filtering services as part of the existing Verizon package.

There will be additional cloud-based offerings, for network firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention, which Verizon will be selling separately, for either its own service customers or businesses who use other transport providers, says Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, director of security product management for Verizon Business.

By 2011, Verizon also will be offering an enterprise-level denial of service (DOS) detection and mitigation service, based on Arbor Networks technology, Nguyen-Duy said. The company last week announced an ID-management as-a-service offering. (See Verizon, Novell Offer ID Management for Clouds.)

The point of cloud-based security offerings is to remove the increasingly complex task of providing security from the business, and make it a service offering that goes beyond even the existing managed security services, Nguyen-Duy says. As network threats grow more complex, the technology to detect and prevent them does as well, and fewer enterprises have the staff and capital expense budgets to acquire, maintain and constantly update premises.

Verizon has an extensive and growing portfolio of managed security offerings, but these often use a premises-based appliance, which is a capital expense, he says. The new cloud-based offering doesn't require any upfront capex.

"There are a lot of advantages to a cloud-based service," Nguyen-Duy says. "It can be deployed much faster, and can be more flexible, and less costly."

Verizon will provide the level of service a business requires at each separate location, realizing that a headquarters site will need more than a branch office, Nguyen-Duy says. Customers who buy the network firewall and intrusion detection/prevention offerings only pay for the level of security they need.

Another advantage to a network-based offering is that it can be applied at distant locations, including those in places such as India and China, where businesses may not have the personnel to handle a premises-based offering, he says.

"Because this is a shared tenant service, it can leverage economies of scale that businesses can't get on their own, so it is more cost-effective," Nguyen-Duy says.

Verizon believes delivering free "clean pipe" services, which are being provided through its work with McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE), will increase demand for its MPLS and direct Internet access (DIA) offerings, as well as increase retention of current customers. For the second phase of the service, Verizon is working with Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) on network-based firewall and intrusion detection/prevention technology.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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