Security software

Verizon Business to Offer Risk-Based Security Service

Verizon Business announced on Wednesday a new risk-based suite of security tools that include cloud-and-premises-based services. Verizon's Next Generation Managed Security Services Platform is designed to compete with similar offerings from ArcSight and RSA.

Risk-based solutions are the latest in a long evolution from static, perimeter-based solutions offered back in 2000. By 2005 the perimeter was becoming porous, with employees bringing into the office laptops but smart phones, as well as poking holes in the firewall with Web 2.0 applications. By 2009, the notion of a static perimeter had fallen, with IT staffs slowing accepting that they can't protect everything.

"By focusing on risk," said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Director, Product Management at Verizon Business, "this yields better results to detect and mitigate threats."

Verizon's Next Generation service, which is not tied to any specific security offiering, allows an enterprise to creates a holistic view across its security infrastructure. Part of the service, the State and Event Analysis Machine (SEAM) engine, then correlates data from Verizon's Global IP network with data from the enterprise's own network to produce unique trending and benchmark information. "By performing one scan her app per month," Nguyen-Duy said, "we can reduce false positives by 30-50 percent," result is a fairly accurate model of the threat landscape specific to an enterprise at any given moment.

Armed with a good baseline model, anomalies should then stand out. "If you can detect (a problem) in the first hour," he said, "there's a 90 percent chance you can mitigate the threat."

The move toward risk-based solutions has some big-name supporters. At last week's Black Hat security conference, former Google VP Douglas Merrill advocated risk-based, strong infrastructure approach within his keynote speech.

Robert Vamosi is a freelance computer security writer specializing in covering criminal hackers and malware threats.

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