[ISN] MCI Worldcom joins security force

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Feb 18 1999 - 16:32:40 PST

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    MCI Worldcom joins security force
    By Tim Clark
    February 18, 1999, 12:35 p.m. PT
         Add MCI WorldCom to the parade of companies entering the security
    services and outsourcing market. 
         Knitting together pieces from its many acquisitions, MCI WorldCom's
    new security unit will compete with GTE Internetworking, Pilot Network
    Services, IBM, the Big Five accounting and consulting firms, and Lucent
    Technologies, which entered the security fray last week. 
         "We can bring together networking, security, and Internet hosting," 
    said Jason Comstock, general manager of the new security unit. The service
    includes offerings from CompuServe Network Services, ANS, UUNet, and
    GridNet, all WorldCom acquisitions. "We see security as a core offering
    for MCI WorldCom, especially security consulting." 
         As corporations move toward Internet commerce and sharing corporate
    information with partners on so-called extranets, network security has
    become a growing concern.  Even the largest corporations are having
    trouble hiring scarce talent in the field, so security outsourcing has
         "When you look at security as an enabling technology that allows you
    to make money safely, then it starts to make sense to outsource," said Jim
    Balderston, security analyst at Zona Research. 
         Matthew Kovar, an industry analyst at the Yankee Group, likes MCI's
    move. "MCI WorldCom has made a great stride to catch up to the leader in
    this area, which has been GTE Internetworking," he said. 
         MCI WorldCom's new security service comes barely a week after the
    company's complex, $17 billion deal to sell its MCI Systemhouse computer
    services unit and 12,000 employees to Electronic Data Systems.
        The security services unit is far smaller than Systemhouse, with about
    170 people, a data center in Reston, Virginia, and a limited range of
    outsourcing options. 
        Housed within MCI WorldCom's Advanced Networks unit, the managed
    security services' menu includes outsourcing or installation of Virtual
    Private Networks (VPNs); firewalls; authentication services; security
    training; and security assessment. The SecureSweep service, which checks
    networks for holes intruders might exploit, is handled by independent
        "Security outsourcing is a subset of the larger market moving toward
    application service providers, or ASPs,"  Balderston said. The ASP
    movement, which emerged last year, involves an ISP or other service
    provider hosting e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, or other
    applications for customers.
        Comstock said MCI WorldCom will add managed authentication, broader
    training programs, and partnerships with certificate authorities for using
    digital IDs for security on corporate networks or extranets. 
        In addition to offering managed security directly to multinational
    corporations worldwide, MCI WorldCom plans a "private label" version that
    resellers can market to smaller U.S.  companies and in Latin America.
        The service will use internally developed firewall software as well as
    products from Check Point Software, authentication servers and tokens from
    Security Dynamics and Secure Computing, and scanning tools from Internet
    Security Systems. 
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