Remote security service guards 20,000 PCs

A remotely managed US security product is protecting 20,000 PCs two years after its launch here.

A remotely managed US security product is protecting 20,000 PCs two years after its launch here.

The eDoctor antivirus and content filtering service from security software specialist Trend Micro is resold and remotely managed in New Zealand by the DMZ Global security subsidiary of Sytec, an IT services company. Sytec NZ security manager Erin Harte says the company is looking at adding another site in Auckland that has 6500 PCs to the 20,000 already covered. However, Sytec’s services to that site will involve email scanning and not the full suite of products Sytec offers.

EDoctor uses Trend Micro’s InterScan suite on customers’ internet gateways. When it was launched in New Zealand, Sytec managing director Grant Smith said “the service is a centrally managed point linked to the client and then through to Trend Micro’s labs”.

A major New Zealand DMZ Global client is document management provider Datamail. John Bone, Datamail’s interconnect services general manager, says the company installed the eDoctor service, then called Sytec Secure, just as the Love Bug virus was hitting email servers worldwide.

“We had McAfee and were going to Sytec as a support service provider and they said ‘[Love Bug] will be difficult to protect against in your current mode, considering the way the signatures are done’.” Datamail agreed to install the Sytec eDoctor service that day and the company hasn’t been taken down by a virus yet, Bone says.

Not everyone sees outsourced security as desirable, but for virus protection few doubt its effectiveness.

Gen-i’s David Spratt says gen-i’s view is that outsourcing is a good arrangement for virus protection, but other aspects of security, such as VPNs and managed firewalls, are best left to an organisation’s internal IT resources.

“If you want to do security properly for a corporate, you need to spend a lot of money and [the provider] would seek to share the costs among several partners. As soon as you do that, you’re creating a security problem.”

The alternative is for the provider to go it alone in providing the service and charge what it would cost the client to do it internally, “plus a margin”.

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