October 08, 2009, 12:35 PM — Verizon Business and McAfee have entered into a strategic agreement that will give Verizon Business customers access to McAfee's entire line of enterprise security products and services.
As part of the agreement, McAfee will also be able to take advantage of Verizon's data center outsourcing and consulting services. The companies are also working jointly to create a line of managed security services designed specifically for Verizon Business customers.
In their joint announcement of the deal this morning, both companies strongly emphasized how they will use this partnership to create more cloud computing-based security services that will let customers outsource their security operations to Verizon over the Web. Among the new cloud-based services that the companies are hoping to develop together are firewalls, intrusion-prevention services, antimalware services, content control and Secure Socket Layer VPN services. The companies say these services will be available in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Broadly speaking, cloud computing services use Internet technologies to deliver IT-related capabilities directly to users. It differs from traditional IT infrastructure because it treats IT more as a utility rather than as a piece of dedicated physical infrastructure that must be managed and upgraded internally. Telecom carriers in recent months have upped their cloud computing offerings to compete with cloud services such as Google Apps, Azure and Rackspace.
In addition to working with McAfee to create more cloud-based services, Verizon will also start offering McAfee's Payment Card Industry compliance services this fall. Verizon says the compliance services are a good fit for "banks and other organizations that support merchants that handle fewer than 20,000 e-commerce transactions or up to 1 million credit card transactions" per year. These particular services will help banks avoid serious data breaches and achieve federal compliance, Verizon says.