Symantec touts security outsourcing services

Symantec offers on-site experts through Operational and Residency Services

Symantec is expected to announce Wednesday a range of professional services that entail putting Symantec security experts on-site at customers' corporate locations to handle various risk management assignments on an outsourcing basis.

Symantec's Operational Services let customers outsource IT functions to Symantec personnel; the services could be delivered on-site or through Symantec's managed security centres, or both. For Symantec's data-protection operational services, for example, consultants would manage all back-up and recovery processes and provide 24-7 remote monitoring services for an enterprise.

Symantec's Residency Services let corporations employ Symantec personnel as their resident security expert -- on site for a minimum of one year -- for anything from architecture design to antivirus protection and deployment.

According to Ted Donat, group product manager for Symantec consulting services, the new range of professional and operational services is designed to meet growing demand from customers.

"Customers have asked us to help them roll out an antivirus migration and/or offer advice," Donat says. "It's the logical next step after managed security services of firewalls and intrusion-detection services through our security operations centres." Symantec currently operates four operations centers that provide managed security services.

Donat insists that Symantec is prepared to work in a multi-vendor environment where the security products deployed in the enterprise are not necessarily just from Symantec.

"We just want to get the job done," Donat says, adding Symantec is comfortable working with products from rivals Trend Micro and McAfee. "If we came into every environment, and painted it yellow, we wouldn't be in business very long."

Symantec today has deployed operational services in about 100 organizations, Donat says, and with the announcement of its formal outsourcing services model, the company is prepared to scale up to meet demand. About 1,000 Symantec consultants are available to assume residency services, and 3,000 others could take on operational services.

Donat says Symantec is prepared to hire further to meet demand.

Symantec did not release price ranges for its Operational Services or Residency Services because they are customized based on customer requirements. But Symantec, which says it has personnel who could serve on an outsourced basis as an organization's resident chief information security officer, did provide a ballpark figure for the CISO position -- somewhere in the mid-US$300,000 range.

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