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Outsource Security to the Cloud
By Alex Goldman

June 1, 2005

The arguments for and against outsourcing are familiar to all ISPs. A company wants to control the quality of its services by keeping them in house, but is tempted by the ability to increase quality and lower expenses by outsourcing to a skilled operator with superior economies of scale.

Would you outsource security? Surely, security is the area that you want the most control over, but also the area where expertise is critical. Milford, Conn.-based Perimeter Internetworking is showcasing its products and expertise at ISPCON, hoping to persuade ISPs that the most critical part of their infrastructure is precisely what they should outsource to an expert.

The company was founded in 1999, focusing on mid-sized businesses, and has expanded its coverage area, recently embracing the ISP and health care sectors.

Click to view larger imageBrad Miller, CEO and founder of the company, calls its concept “Security in the Cloud,” by which he means that the company builds specialized security infrastructure that can be connected through the internet to any company, anywhere.

“We’re like a gated community — there’s one way in and one way out, and the guard post has to have your name or you don’t get in or out. We put ourselves between the client and the internet.”

The gates that Perimeter places between its customers and the internet are quite powerful. Six different anti-virus programs scan e-mail, and several scan Web traffic. The company also recommends using Trend Micro on every desktop.

The security infrastructure can change at any time. “We frequently change out the technology we use.”

The company is also building special packages for particular verticals with regard to compliance. The company uses a product called Pedestal, now part of Altiris (see Altiris, BMC, Novell Acquire Security, Compliance). It checks that all machines on a network are patched and comply with rules, such as the rules that protect privacy in the banking and health care industries.

Miller is enthusiastic about the product. “We can give customers a real time report on an asset by asset basis, tell them which IT assets are in compliance and which are out of compliance.”

Perimeter’s security data center is designed to allow customers to get the security they want, and to make it easier to adapt to threats.

“In the security world, some threat solutions take years to get to market. We can significantly compress that time by adopting new technologies as needed,” says Miller.

Customer choice is key. “We have a Chinese menu of over fifty services, and our customers can adopt a new product without needing a big project to integrate it. Our clients deal with only one vendor: us.”

Pricing and availability

The menu of security services is available now. There are volume discounts, but the service starts at $199 per month per business customer. Miller says the average Perimeter customer is a business with between 25 and 1,000 employees. He adds that many security solutions cost a multiple of the price of a T-1, whereas Perimeter’s solution costs a fraction of the price of a T-1.

The product is designed to require no CPE, but for those customers who want a CPE product, Perimeter offers the Fortigate 60.

Article adapted from ISP-Planet

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