ISS downsizes X-Force in Europe

LONDON (12/16/2003) - Four years after it was opened with some fanfare, Internet Security Systems Inc. (ISS) has closed its X-Force threat analysis service (XFTAS) center in Reading, U.K.

The entire team working on X-Force in the U.K. has been laid off, and research is being retrenched to the company's Atlanta headquarters. X-Force employees in Australia have also been given notice.

XFTAS is a subscription service that feeds a stream of real-time information on security threats and vulnerabilities as they emerge around the world.

It turns out that the company sneaked out an announcement on the closure some weeks ago to U.S. and financial sources (meeting the rules of disclosure required of public companies), but appears keen to downplay the move in Europe.

The press release announcing the closure was not posted to the ISS website until the omission was pointed out by Techworld.

"The competitive climate for protection systems today requires a platform focus, shifting away from the older strategy of providing more 'point' solutions focused on specific niches in the protection market," the release said.

According to ISS, the cuts were merely part of a reorganisation and would not affect the overall effectiveness of the service.

A call to the Reading center garnered the response that the X-Force team "no longer work here" followed by the suggestion that callers phone a number in Belgium for further information. The Belgian office referred callers back to the U.K.

A number of calls to ISS in the U.K., the U.S. and Europe failed to elicit any quotable response on the subject.

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