Singapore telco unveils cloud security service

update SingTel launches cloud-based security service, running Symantec products, that touts savings of up to 75 percent compared to on-premise deployment.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

update SINGAPORE--Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has launched a cloud-based security service for businesses which the local telco says will yield 75 percent in savings, compared to on-premise deployments, over three years.

At the launch here Thursday, Bill Chang, SingTel's executive vice president of business group, said the cloud model trumps on-premise security deployment because clients would not need to make upfront investments to acquire new equipment or set aside further resources to maintain systems and hardware.

Dubbed PowerON Security, the cloud service suite comprises Symantec's cloud offerings and is available on a monthly subscription model. Three service packages are available, serving different requirements: e-mail, Web and end-point clients.

Estimates by SingTel revealed that the total cost of traditional on-premise deployment for a year--including the cost of hardware and licenses, maintenance, setup cost and cost of bandwidth consumed by spam or malware entering the on-premise security product--could set a company with 300 users back by US$163,080. A cloud-based model which includes a 300-user subscription, maintenance and setup investment will cost US$40,860, representing a saving of up to 75 percent, the telco said.

Small businesses to benefit most
While the service is targeted at businesses of all sizes, Enrique Salem, Symantec's president and CEO, said small businesses especially will benefit from it.

He noted that most small businesses are not fully protected from security threats because the companies do not have the capabilities to effectively deploy security protection.

Chang added that traditional on-premise security deployment is too expensive for small businesses, compared to SingTel's cloud service which costs about US$3 to US$5 per user.

A SingTel enterprise customer, Charlie Chye, director of Singapore-based CNAV Business Value, told ZDNet Asia that he does not implement Web security tools in his company as it is "too expensive" to deploy Symantec products in-house.

Chye, who attended the launch, said he had yet to decide if he would deploy PowerON Security but noted that it would "make sense" to utilize a service that cost about US$4 per user.

Salem added that large enterprises that have already invested in on-premise security deployments can also benefit from the new cloud service. By subscribing to SingTel's security-as-a-service suite to handle Web or e-mail filtering, these organizations will be able to focus on their core business, he said.

Although data privacy remains one of the top obstacles to cloud adoption, both SingTel and Symantec executives said the trustworthiness of their brands will overcome such concerns.

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