Carrying the Load for Network Security

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 11-21-2006
Overwhelmed by an onslaught of external threats that aim to take down or infiltrate their networks, enterprises are increasingly turning to their telecommunications carriers, ISPs and managed services providers to help stop attacks before they arrive.

Companies are demanding that their providers offer a range of security protections as part of their licensing agreements. Alongside those onboard network defenses, many telecom carriers, ISPs and MSPs are building out a range of additional security offerings to protect customers and create new opportunities to make money.

For more on security, see Security & Risk: The Defense Never Rests

When enterprises draw up their SLAs (service-level agreements) with carriers, most already require that their providers take on the task of blocking DoS (denial-of-service) attacks, malware and spam e-mail, said Mitch Ferro, senior director of product management for Broadwing Communications' Internet and Managed Services group, based in Austin, Texas.

The notion that such threats are expected to arrive via voice and data communications networks is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, he said.

"We're seeing that customers are looking to us for specific types of security services that naturally gravitate towards carriers, and the trend toward customers demanding denial-of-service, spam and virus protection as part of their SLA has really taken off over the last year and a half," Ferro said. "We're trying to provide a cleaner pipe to the customer than what has been acceptable in the past. It's a question of where you stop the bad guys: at the door to your house, or before they ever get to your neighborhood."

Read the full story on eWeek.com: Carrying the Load for Network Security