Verizon Enters SMB Net Security Market

By Mark Berniker | Posted October 21, 2003

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With network security a major serious concern for small- and medium-sized businesses, Verizon has announced plans to offer round-the-clock Internet security services.

By moving into the enterprise network security space, Verizon is going up against established players, including Network Associations.

Verizon said the first Internet security product would be the Premises Firewall and Virtual Private Network Services. The price of the Premises Firewall product will start at $130 per month with a $206 set-up fee and two-year commitment for a network covering one to five computers.

The telecommunications giant said one-year contracts would also be available with installation fees and monthly charges based on the number of computers protected by the Internet security services.

Verizon said the service would include 24-hour customer support and the means for providing automatic software updates to keep up with new Internet security threats.

Verizon's Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) contain many of the same hardware and security features as its firewall product, both utilize encryption to provide a secure networked environment. VPN services are designed for employees which need to have remote access to corporate networks, and prices for the offering start at $172 per month.

Verizon said it would provide firms subscribing to its new security service with monthly Web-based summary reports, specifically identifying the time and origin of any attacks.

"This information can assist businesses in evaluating and changing security policies before their systems are breached. Verizon managed security services are the first phase in the company's plan to develop a comprehensive portfolio of data security services for small and mid-sized business customers," the company said in an statement.

Verizon said it would add desktop software-based firewall and anti-virus software products to its suite of Business Internet Security Services in late October.

Verizon's new Internet security services are an effort by the company to potentially capitalize on the constant threat hackers and infectious software purveyors present to businesses big and small.

"Small and mid-sized businesses that have computer networks connected to the Internet can now get round-the-clock protection from Verizon against hackers and other network attacks," Verizon added.

In early October, AMI-Partners came out with research on IT spending in the small business sector.

"Despite the weak U.S. economy, small businesses surged ahead, hiring new employees, opening new sites and increasing spending on IT. The previously under-saturated small-business market made strong strides in adopting new and advanced IT products and solutions, encompassing VPNs, Networking Storage, Wireless LAN, Intrusion Detection, Firewalls and Customer-Focused Enterprise Applications. Overall, spending on IT by U.S. Small Businesses grew by 11 percent, registering $86 billion," AMI-Partners said.

And the Broadband Barometer report, the second quarterly report commissioned by Pacific Internet and conducted by A.C. Nielsen, focused on the small business market and the Internet in Australia, reinforces the concerns about security.

The report found that 64 percent of broadband small businesses in Australia find spam and viruses their "main concern."

The report went onto say that three-quarters of those surveyed said they are running some type of network security software, but only 43 percent were running spam filters to protect their enterprises from being inundated with unwanted e-mails.

Adapted from internetnews.com.

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