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PAETEC Unveils Managed IDPS for MPLS Services

PAETEC Holding Corp. (PAET) announced Monday the general availability of its new managed network Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) for customers of its MPLS services. Since IDPS resides within PAETEC’s MPLS network, there is no need for on-site equipment installation or upgrades and the product protects all sites on the network, not just one.

The new managed security offer, which has been in beta testing with five customers throughout first quarter, builds on the hosted network firewall service the CLEC has been offering for about two years, said John Chapman, PAETEC senior vice president of marketing. He explained the network firewall service usually is paired with PAETEC’s hosted e-mail and Web security solutions. For single-site users, PAETEC offers a managed CPE firewall with unified threat management, he added.

The new IDPS offer layers on the network-based firewall offering and includes two elements, Chapman said. The first is an Intrusion Detection System that inspects inbound and outbound traffic, identifies suspicious patterns, automatically notifies the enterprise system administrator and makes recommendations for a threat response. The second part is the Intrusion Prevention System, which pre-emptively identifies potential threats and recommends appropriate responses.

If a potentially negative event is detected, the intrusion prevention sensor and the event correlation engine determine the threat level of the event and act accordingly within a 99.9999 percent SLA guarding against false positives.

Typically, the event correlation reports are viewed and acted on by the enterprise systems administrator, but PAETEC also operates a 24/7 Security Operations Center and can contract with customers for alarm response.

Chapman said that the service is targeted toward midsize companies with more than three T1s and more than five sites. Ideal targets are in the government, retail and financial services sectors, he said.

PAETEC is beefing up its MPLS security offer now because it’s a priority for enterprise IT executives. In addition to the internal demands driving the need for network security, certain industry standards such as PCI DSS and HIPAA require IDPS. “It’s where they are spending and what keeps them up at night,” Chapman said. This creates an opportunity for PAETEC and its channels to come in and help customers by eliminating both the security hardware expense and the ongoing management of patches and upgrades.

The service is provided under a monthly subscription along with the MPLS contract, which typically is about 36 months. The monthly charge is based on the number of sites and bandwidth.

The service is available for sale through the indirect sales channel; agents are commissioned on the MRC. Chapman said the rollout and training will begin this week. “It allows them to differentiate their MPLS offering,” Chapman said. “Now, it’s not just about connecting five sites.”


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