Optus Business adds cybersecurity capabilities to managed services

Leveraging Palo Alto Networks' cybersecurity platform, Optus and Singtel will now provide enterprise and government customers with detection and prevention mechanisms against cyber attacks.

Optus has announced adding cybersecurity prevention, detection, and monitoring capabilities to its government and enterprise managed security services portfolio, with the solution running on the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform.

Optus' parent company Singtel said the Palo Alto solution would bolster its existing cybersecurity mechanisms, meshing with its managed security services business unit, Trustwave, and providing managed security services through Singtel's eight security operations centres (SOCs).

The Managed Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP) services consist of Palo Alto Networks' Next-Generation Firewall, Threat Intelligence Cloud, and Advanced Endpoint Protection products, with a solution developed between Optus, Singtel, and Palo Alto Networks.

"Our collaboration with Palo Alto Networks is another example of Optus Business' ongoing investment in growing Australia's ability to combat the increasing frequency and sophistication of cybersecurity threats," said John Paitaridis, managing director of Optus Business.

"Our enhanced managed security services are complemented by Palo Alto Networks' innovative technologies, and support Australian businesses and government agencies with services they need to operate confidently in the digital and global market."

Singtel already monitors and protects against cyber threats globally, with 2,000 security professionals and an "elite" response team known as SpiderLabs.

"We are committed to strengthening our capabilities to protect organisations against sophisticated, evolving cyber threats," said Singtel Group Enterprise CEO Bill Chang.

"Through our collaboration with Palo Alto Networks, we have developed an innovative cybersecurity service which takes a holistic and preventive approach towards cyber threats. Together with our Trustwave managed security service, the trained cybersecurity experts at our Advanced Security Operations Centre can forestall cyber attacks and use the information of any neutralised malware to update our global threat intelligence to benefit other regions."

The solution will provide security across the cloud, mobile networks, and end points.

Mark McLaughlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, said Optus and Singtel are among APAC's "most respected and innovative ICT and managed security service providers" and said the they will continue working together on developing more technology security services.

Palo Alto Networks says its Next-Generation Security Platform is comprised of four components that reduce the risk of cyber attacks: Threat intelligence sharing; automated creation and delivery of protection against any new threats; extensibility and flexibility that enables customers to expand or adopt new technologies; and natively integrated technologies leveraging single-pass prevention architecture.

Optus Business provides managed services to customers including ANZ Bank, with which it last week extended its contract out to 2020.

Optus SMB on Monday also launched its new Smart Shop marketplace with access to cloud apps and technology, as well as a 24-hour technical support line.

The Optus Smart Shop includes access to Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Sage One, Xpenditure, MozyPro, PlanHQ, Act Cloud, Cloud Flow, and security tools for identifying malware and viruses across files, emails, websites, and social media accounts.

As part of a renewed focus on supporting small business owners across the country, Optus in May opened 126 SMB specialist stores as well as an SMB call centre in Adelaide.

The telecommunications provider also introduced "premium" support services for SMBs in order to "show that we're the small business support network".

In addition, Optus employed a greater number of Business Specialists to provide advice and assistance.

Optus has been focusing on business owners of late; earlier this year, it introduced Retail Assist, a mobile point-of-sale product developed in collaboration with Microsoft, HP, and Australia's major banks, which enables retailers to manage inventory, verify stock, examine stored customer information, and process sales from an in-store mobile device.

Earlier this week, it was also revealed that Optus is cutting jobs across its Networks division in addition to the 480 redundancies announced in April.

In July, Optus also said it is considering outsourcing back office roles across its HR and finance departments, although the resulting redundancies have yet to be revealed and would not occur until next year.

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