Managed security scales Symantec agenda

Symantec is looking to extend its security portfolio beyond just products and into the services sector. With interest in hosting and outsourcing models beginning to rise, the vendor is keen to demonstrate its capabilities in delivering managed security services (MSS).

  • E-Mail
By  Zoe Moleshead Published  December 1, 2003

Managed security services|~||~||~|Symantec is looking to extend its security portfolio beyond just products and into the services sector. With interest in hosting and outsourcing models beginning to rise, the vendor is keen to demonstrate its capabilities in delivering managed security services (MSS). Additionally, the security player is looking to differentiate its MSS model and steal a lead on potential competitors.

"There is a lot of confusion in the market place around MSS, so MSS means managed security services, but to Symantec it also means monitored security services and that has to be very clearly underlined because there is a significant difference between management and monitoring," says William Beer, Symantec Security Services, Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Beer believes monitoring is a crucial aspect of MSS and one that is intrinsically tied to management. For example, he explains that by monitoring the activities of security devices and tools, vast amounts of data are gathered, all of which undoubtedly facilitates and influences management decisions.

"Monitoring is important because if you do a good job of monitoring and you are telling your customers what is happening on their security devices in real-time, they will be able to do a better job of management," says Beer.

"There are probably some companies that are doing some fairly discreet or acceptable work around management, but the management is the performance management, configuration management and the fault management of firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS), monitoring is bolted on top," he adds.

As such, Symantec is keen to iterate its credentials to deliver both management and monitoring services in what Beer describes as a "co-tasking" relationship between itself and its customers. The acquisitions of Riptech and Security Focus in August 2002 have left the vendor perfectly placed to take "the pulse of the internet" and quickly identify and tackle any potential security threats for its customers, claims Beer.

"We have this incredible security technology platform that we acquired through Riptech, we have more than six security operations centres (SOCs) throughout the world and access to more than 20,000 probes courtesy of Security Focus. [This means] we have a pretty unique vision of what happens on the internet and if something happens we know," he explains.

Analyst groups are also supporting Symantec's move into MSS, suggesting that the vendor has the necessary know how and tools to rapidly deliver services.

"The most security savvy of the competing security service providers are the security niche players, vendors like Counterpane, Guardent and Symantec, which have built their reputation solely on their ability to provide top level security," says Jaclynn Anderson, research analyst, In-Stat/MDR.

"The start-up mentality for many of the niche players has allowed them to quickly adapt to market changes and provide services for new types of security equipment faster than any other managed security service providers," she continues.

Currently, Symantec offers different levels of MSS, including standard and premium services, which involve managed firewall, IDS and antivirus services, as well as vulnerability assessments. Additionally, the vendor is looking to develop a local MSS flavour for the Middle East market.

"There is definitely a requirement in the Gulf region [for MSS], so what we are looking at is different flavours, which will take into account some of the special requirements that are present in this region. There are issues with local languages and there may be some issues around local laws, which means certain data cannot leave the country - these are all issues that Symantec has dealt with in the past, but we need to make sure that we blend the right version for the market here in the Gulf region," explains Beer.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code