Optus jumps on security bandwagon

The telco has launched both a Security-as-a-Service and a Distributed Denial of Service for customers

Optus has expanded its enterprise Cloud services, launching hosted Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) and Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) services to be integrated at its network layer.

The telco has launched the services with the aim to combat security threats, viruses and malware, detecting and blocking the attacks at the network layer as opposed to customers deploying on-premise services.

“Enterprises spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money in managing their security systems,” Optus Business director of marketing and strategy, Scott Mason, said.

“By integrating these security capabilities within the core Optus Evolve platform, security threats and malicious traffic can be stopped in our network, which frees up our customers’ networks of any unwanted traffic.”

The SECaaS provides security at the user level with the protection of email accounts from viruses or staff accessing gaming sites in the workplace, eliminating the need to purchase, install and manage antivirus software. The DDoS will act to block unwanted threats, preventing malicious traffic, eventual shutdown by detecting unwanted traffic and mitigating what passes through the network.

The security services will join the telco’s current Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), for which it teamed up with EMC, VMware and Cisco.

The launch follows the telco's research report, which surveyed IT and HR workers from over 320 medium to large organisations, around the future use of technology in the enterprise.

The findings indicated the use of tablets is set to soar, increasing from 37 per cent to 84 per cent over the next three to five years, with IT departments expected to deploy the devices for their sales teams, from four per cent currently to 37 per cent, and for field force teams, from nine per cent to 39 per cent by 2016.

Optus Business managing director, Rob Parcell, said that while an increased number of employees are using their personal devices at work, companies do not expect employees to rely on their own devices and supply desktop PCs, laptops, and other equipment to their staff.

This trend of BYO devices, Parcell said, increases security challenges for IT teams in terms of corporate security and compliance policies, while the reliance on employee goodwill for the return of company issued mobile devices is to become more rigorous as enterprise deal with this issue.

The findings also indicate the issue of remote data wipe and lockout technologies on these mobile devices is expected to rise from 40 per cent to 61 per cent in the next three to five years.

According to Parcell, the widespread adoption of mobile technologies, the use of internal collaboration and social media is changing how the workplace operates, adding flexibility and productivity.

Of the adopters, Generation X are the main drivers for mobile devices to aid flexibility, while Gen Y are keen on internal collaboration tools.

“More organisations will also allow staff to use personal devices such as tablets to access their corporate network, reinforcing the need for new policies to ensure security requirements are met,” Parcell said.

The report notes that 26 per cent of IT departments currently allow but monitor employees’ social media access, with this figure expected to climb to 49 per cent by 2016. On the hand, 30 per cent of HR teams advocate social media access from the workplace or company-issued devices, believing it is essential to both recruiting and retaining staff.

The difference in opinion between the HR and IT departments, as demonstrated in the findings of the study, has highlighted a clear disconnect within organisations which could potentially hinder work flexibility.

“If HR and IT departments don’t collaborate better, the move to more flexible working environments could be hampered,” Parcell said.

“There are a number of steps businesses can consider taking to help the transition to more efficient, flexible workplaces.

“IT departments need to educate their organisations on the tools available to support flexible working, while HR departments need to consult their IT teams on tools to support flexible working."

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