CenturyLink Mounts Multi-Pronged Security As A Service Offering

CenturyLink has added server log monitoring and historical analysis of log data for real time protections to its managed security suite.
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CenturyLink is adding five advanced protections to the services in its Managed Security Services Suite to allow use of more real-time information and faster responses to intruders and security violations.

The suite is part of CenturyLink's cloud services business and can be applied to an enterprise's operations either on its own premises or as workloads in the cloud. CenturyLink is a managed hosting, managed services, and CenturyLink Public Cloud provider operating in 24 major data regions, such as Albuquerque, Atlanta, and Boston in the US. Some regions have multiple data centers, such as the six in the Washington, D.C., area, for a total of 40. Through its 2011 acquisition of Savvis, it entered the managed services and cloud business and acquired the core of a security suite in services established by Savvis in 2005.

CenturyLink is now adding these five services:

  • A continuous log-monitoring service pulls in data from dozens or hundreds of servers, with certified global information assurance certification (GIAC) security analysts watching the data.
  • Automated analytics provide historical backup to the events captured in the log data, helping security teams understand the appearance of exceptions or aberrations.
  • An incident management and response service has a team available 24 hours a day to vet incidents and respond quickly in the event of an attack.
  • A managed protection service supplies automated, analytical insights into data generated from the latest generation of firewall services.
  • A proactive scanning service discovers possible threats and attempts to eradicate them before impact. It also prioritizes threats based on the hazard they pose to the organization.

The CenturyLink approach "combines tool-based and human-powered threat-management activities," said Tim Kelleher, vice president of IT security services at CenturyLink, in the Feb. 25 announcement.

The Managed Security Services Suite with these additions represents an impressive assembly of protections and defenses. It already included managed firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, endpoint security, Web application firewalls, denial of service attack mitigation, email filtering, threat detection, and monitoring and intelligence feeds.

[Want to learn more about modern security threats? Read Anatomy Of An Account Takeover Attack.]

The suite allows customers to access security data collected via a portal, report potential threats, and garner real-time information into an event as it happens. The portal will provide threat profiles presented for summing up at a glance. Analytics can be applied to the information available, tickets created, activity tracked, and final resolution reported to the customer.

The suite has a security information and event management (SIEM) back-end that can import client-specific vulnerability data from any location and a variety of SIEM tools. Analytics can be applied to the information for feedback on an ongoing activity. The SIEM information handling system can accept information from the customer’s existing security tools and systems, Kelleher said in the announcement.

The suite is designed, particularly through its server log capture and correlation, to help organizations meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, Sarbanes-Oxley, the Federal Information Security Management Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

CenturyLink's suite has named in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services and was dubbed a leader in the Forrester Wave: DDOS Services Providers, Q3 2013. CenturyLink was named in the "Worldwide" version of the Magic Quadrant because it has data centers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as North America.

[Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify the number of data centers CenturyLink operates in.]

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