On Monday, Verizon completed its acquisition of global information security specialist Cybertrust. According to representatives from Verizon, this makes it the largest managed security services provider by market share. The acquisition of a managed security service is a natural evolution of Verizon Business' managed services, which already span application hosting, VoIP, call centers, and conferencing, to name a few. It also comes at a good time: According to Infonetics, the managed security services market is poised to double between now and 2010.
Verizon may be a one-stop shop if you already use the company for other services like wide area networking or hosting. The company is working on merging its Security Solutions and Cybertrust offerings into a single service called "Verizon Business Security Solutions powered by Cybertrust." The two organizations have mapped out existing service features into a common feature set. According to Kerry Bailey, VP of security operations, existing Verizon Managed Security Solutions customers will be migrated over to the new platform starting with the portal and completed in 12 to 18
months. The migration, according to Bailey, should be seamless.
The acquisition also brings security expertise to Verizon's internal processes. Bailey said one of the drivers for the acquisition is that as more companies are outsourcing IT operations, sensitive data is being stored and accessed remotely. With Verizon Business targeting hosted applications, leveraging the Cybertrust security skills internally should be a given. Bailey couldn't give specifics about internal use but hopes that Verizon would be its own customer.
Cybertrust's ID management experience also puts Verizon in a good position to roll out interesting services. For example, using digital certificates along with DRM could put more content onto set-top boxes and mobile devices in ways that calm the fears about content piracy while giving customers access to media.
The big question is how well Verizon Business integrates Cybertrust into its customer-facing processes. A common complaint with Verizon's WAN offerings is that moves, adds, changes, and troubleshooting can result in multiple phone calls to multiple service representatives trying to determine who has responsibility for the call. That leads to user frustration and lengthening downtime.