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Verizon Business teams with McAfee to offer security in the cloud

Stuart Corner
Thursday, October 8, 2009

Verizon Business and McAfee have formed a global strategic alliance to provide integrated security solutions to businesses and government agencies worldwide under which the companies will jointly develop a suite of next-generation, cloud-based managed security services.

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Together, McAfee and Verizon Business will offer a comprehensive portfolio of managed security services (MSS) to enterprises, leveraging the strength of Verizon Business' MSS offerings and McAfee's technology.

Also, Verizon Business will provide data centre outsourcing services to McAfee enabling McAfee consolidate its data centres, improve management of its Web hosting operations and better position it to deliver cloud based services. McAfee customers will have access to Verizon Business' network of 1,200 security professionals who can help design, implement and integrate holistic security solutions worldwide.

This move by Verizon Business into the security business follows its acquisition of Cybertrust in 2007 and is the latest in a series of initiatives by the major providers of global networks services - BT, AT&T;, Orange Business, Tata Comms & Reliance Global - to move up the value chain from the increasingly commoditised business of providing global network connectivity to their multinational clients (Verizon's acquisition of Cybertrust was hailed as significant catch-up to AT&T; which Verizon had hitherto lagged in its security offerings). Earlier this year, within a month of each other, both Orange and Verizon launched cloud computing services.

Verizon Business and McAfee will jointly develop and market a suite of cloud-based managed security offerings that will "leverage Verizon's leading managed security services platform, global IP infrastructure, advanced security operation centres, expansive footprint of data centres and McAfee's world-class security technology powered by its Global Threat Intelligence."

These new cloud security services will be managed by Verizon Business. They will include firewalls, intrusion prevention services, anti-malware, content control and SSL VPN. They are touted as being ideal for highly distributed businesses, with the promise that they will "offer enterprises a number of advantages, including strong security included with their IP connectivity, tighter security integration with other protected assets, and enhanced flexibility."

The two say these services will be well-suited for the small-to-medium enterprise, large enterprise and government agencies. They will both offer these new services in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Also, starting in the current quarter, Verizon Business will offer McAfee's PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance services to banks and other organisations that support merchants that handle fewer than 20,000 e-commerce transactions or up to 1 million credit card transactions each per year.

According to the two companies, this group of retailers, known as level 4 merchants, is at the greatest risk of suffering a security breach and represents 99 percent of all merchants and approximately one-third of all credit card transactions. Previously, Verizon Business' PCI compliance services were focused on larger-volume merchants and associated banks.

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