Sun Expands Managed Security Services

Part of the Sun Managed Security Services effort, the program is available immediately.

Dave Uhlir, marketing director for managed services at the Santa Clara, Calif., vendor, said the promotion is designed to help Sun grow its managed security business. The promotion hinges upon network-based IDS sensors from SourceFire, the SourceFire NS2000 device. These sensors, like most IDS devices, detect threats and vulnerabilities in a customer network and deliver the information to network managers in easy-to-read reports.

"This is a composite offering that provides a variety of services and hinges on IDS," he said. "This is just a way for [customers] to get started. It is our hope that solution providers will sell customers additional services and grow the relationship from there."

According to Uhlir, the promotion enables Sun's partners to offer the complete line of Sun managed security services at no cost. After 90 days, customers can either buy the SourceFire managed service equipment and extend the service for a fee, or return the gear and cancel the service without a penalty. Uhlir would not reveal the cost of extending the service.

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In addition to SourceFire, Sun has partnered with VeriSign to provide supplemental services such as IDS management and result correlation. The VeriSign service allows customers to manage report data and set off the appropriate security alarms. If, for example, the IDS system discovers an open port, the VeriSign service will page a network administrator to fix the port at once.

Although recent studies from Gartner and Nemertes Research indicate that the more pro-active Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) technology is rapidly replacing IDS, Uhlir insisted that IDS still holds a valuable place in a company's network, particularly for small- and medium-size businesses.

"The smaller the enterprise, the more relevant the IDS model is," he said. "This is not an all-inclusive solution; it's just a way for [solution providers] to get their foot in the door."