MCI to Offer Managed Security Services

By Dennis Fisher  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

MCI is expected to announce a new set of managed security services, including an intrusion prevention system.

MCI Inc. on Tuesday will announce a new set of managed security services, many of which involve partnerships with vendors such as VeriSign Inc. and MessageLabs Inc.

In addition to traditional services offerings such as mail scanning and managed firewall, the companies plan to offer enterprises the option of a managed intrusion prevention system (IPS), one of the first of its kind in the industry. The hosted IPS service will be based on both Internet Security Systems Inc.'s Proventia platform and Juniper Networks Inc.'s NetScreen technology.

The addition of the IPS service to MCI's portfolio is an indication of the continuing maturation of intrusion prevention technology. As little as a year ago, it would've been folly for a major carrier to offer such a service, given the relative newness of the technology and the skepticism among many in the security and IT communities about its usefulness. But with major vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc., ISS and Network Associates Inc. betting heavily on IPS, it has gained quite a bit of momentum and credibility in the last six or eight months.

For MCI, the IPS service is just one piece of a strategy that focuses much of the beleaguered company's energy on security.

"This is the first topic we're talking about since emerging from bankruptcy, so it's obviously at the top of our list," said Bob Blakely, senior product manager for security services at MCI, based in Ashburn, Va. "We're very focused on security and very focused on incorporating security into our network. When you operate arguably the largest IP network in the world, security is inherent in what you do every day."

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