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Verizon Business announced Aug. 5 a relaunch of its managed security
services platform, introducing a number of new features that it hopes will take
it to the top of the managed security service provider (MSSP) heap in the
coming year.

Designed to go above and beyond the standard antivirus-firewall-IPS
trio so common among many security services players, the Verizon Business
platform is built on technologies designed to offer mature risk management
capabilities to organizations that lack in-house security resources. The heart
of the system is built on what Verizon Business dubs the State and Event
Analysis Machine (SEAM), which takes advantage of real-time data from the
company’s global IP network and its current customers’ network devices. SEAM
crunches data from these sources and combines it with asset prioritization
provided by individual customers and with vulnerability and technical asset
information found during regular scans of the individual customer environments
to create a dynamic risk correlation.

The platform then pushes out this contextualized information to an online
portal that gives in-house decision-makers real-time visibility and control
over change management, reporting and benchmarking tools.

"With this new engine powering our global security portfolio, we are
delivering what customers have told us they require: highly agile, robust and
cost-effective solutions that meet their unique business and security
requirements,” said Michael Marcellin, vice president of Verizon global managed
solutions.

Verizon Business has established itself as one of the major players within the
market. In April, Gartner put the company’s services in the leaders quadrant
with Symantec, AT&T and SecureWorks. With SecureWorks picking up VeriSign’s
managed service division last month and Symantec purchasing e-mail services
provider MessageLabs last fall, Verizon clearly has its hands full with
expanding competitors. Verizon Business’ announcement sends a clear message to
its acquisitive competitors that it isn’t lying down for the fight.

According to analysts with Gartner, the overall MSSP market increased by 15
percent in 2008. Meanwhile, industry watchers with Frost & Sullivan expect
steady growth in this market as more organizations try to secure their
environments with fewer resources. Last month Frost & Sullivan predicted
the MSSP market would double in the coming six years, reaching $2.4 billion by
2014.