AT&T and IBM cement security partnership

SAN FRANCISCO -- AT&T and IBM, at the RSA Conference, announced they've sealed a partnership to provide security services for a wide range of enterprises in a way that blends technology and professional services both vendors have.

"Large hotels, retailers, medical centers and others can have thousands of locations around the world and customer and employee data needs to be protected," said Latha Maripuri, director of IBM security services, discussing plans to unite AT&T Secure Gateway Solutions with IBM's threat-monitoring services. Many of these locations, apart from a central headquarters, may use network security such as firewalls, intrusion-prevention systems and other types of protections. But management can be problematic because such organizations may lack security staff directly on site, Maripuri said.

+Also on NetworkWorld: Hot new products at the RSA Conference |The 12 Most Powerful Security Companies +

Maripuri said North America is envisioned as the first geo-location where the joint AT&T/IBM threat-monitoring service will be offered, with some customers, whom she didn't name, now piloting it. The blended service will not be based exclusively on IBM gear, she pointed out.

In other news from the RSA Conference, Verizon said it's expanding its professional security services into what it's calling its "Cyber Intelligence Center" capability. Christopher Porter, managing principal for it, says managed security services will use a broader range of threat data in real-time about pending cyber attacks based on sharing information about new types of ongoing threats, such as NTP reflection attacks used in massive denial-of-service. "If we see this happening, we can prepare them," Porter said.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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