Outsourcing Web Security5:04 PM EST Wed. Oct. 11, 2000
Staffing Technologies, an Atlanta IT recruiting firm, took steps to protect its data but wanted an extra layer of security. Deciding that outsourcing was the way to go, it turned to SecureWorks.
"We've got a lot of proprietary information on our database," says Bob Misdom, founder and COO of Staffing Technologies. "Like anyone in the industry, it's your lifeline. We want to protect that data."
SecureWorks, a new firm offering round-the-clock Internet security monitoring and response, provides the extra security to help prevent intrusions and is more economical than installing a firewall, Misdom says.
Joan Wilbanks: SecureWorks is selling through the channel.
A lot of companies are moving toward outsourced security, says John Pescatore, vice president and research director of network security at research firm Gartner. Businesses are spending money for managed security services such as intrusion detection and vulnerability assessment, he says.
Managed security services make up a big chunk of his estimate of the security-services market for this year: about $7.5 billion worldwide. Pescatore predicts the market will grow at a 40 percent per-year compound rate.
SecureWorks, which officially launched its service in September, is one of two new companies aiming to grab a piece of the managed security market. The other is DefendNet Solutions, Providence, R.I.
DefendNet was founded as Virtual Media Technologies in 1996, providing integrated security consulting and services. The company changed its name and shifted to managed security, rolling out its SecureInternet service this spring.
DefendNet targets the small and midsize markets, where companies may not have the IT staff to handle security, says Vincent Giordano, founder and president of the company. "It alleviates the heavy capital burden and hassles companies have with security."
DefendNet's service begins with the installation of a firewall at a customer site and round-the-clock monitoring by security professionals at its two network operations centers. The customer can opt to add other services to the platform, including virtual private networking, content filtering and antivirus scanning.
Pricing for the subscription-based service begins at $250 per month for SecureInternet-100, which protects up to 100 users. SecureInternet-250 costs $599 per month, and the version for 500 users costs $999 per month. The setup cost is equal to one month of service.
DefendNet is partnering with ISPs, CLECs and integrators. So far, it has about 30 partners and about 100 customers. Channel partners selling DefendNet's service earn revenue without the burden of building their own network operation centers or equipment installation, Giordano says.
Networking integrator I-NET, Johnston, R.I., recently partnered with DefendNet and sold SecureInternet-100 to a Web development company.
"It's a good way to protect your business from the outside world," says Michael Horn, I-NET president, adding that the addition of managed security will boost the company's business.
SecureWorks is selling exclusively through the channel, Wilbanks says. In September, it inked a pact with GE Access. The Boulder, Colo.-based distributor solution providers will distribute and install the SecureWorks Internet security appliance at customers' sites.
SecureWorks' patent-pending iSensor Linux-based appliance is installed between a customer's network and Internet connection to inspect every data packet that flows in and out of the network for known attack signatures. When the iSensor detects an attack, it responds automatically or alerts security professionals at the company's Internet Monitored Security Center.
The company is targeting organizations with 250 or fewer network users per location and already has signed 72 customers, including advertising agencies, auto dealerships and Web hosting companies, Wilbanks says. The service costs $20 per IP address per month, and the iSensor costs $1,495.
Michael Minard, executive vice president at GE Access, says there's market demand for SecureWorks. "It's hard to pick up a paper anymore without reading about someone breaking into a system," he says. "Security is one of our most rapidly growing areas."