Telstra partners with Vodafone NZ on security

Telstra has provided its 24/7 Open Managed Security Services cloud platform to Vodafone New Zealand to launch security management services for government and enterprise customers.

Vodafone New Zealand has announced the launch of security management services for government and enterprise customers thanks to a cloud platform developed by Telstra and provided under a strategic reseller agreement between the two telcos.

Vodafone Security Management Services combines artificial intelligence (AI) with data analytics capabilities, as well as providing security experts in both Australia and New Zealand

"Working with Telstra means that we now have a powerful intelligence and analytics platform at our fingertips. The platform not only quickly identifies and explores cyber threats but is also able to see true mathematical anomalies," Vodafone NZ head of security practice Warren Shera said.

Flagging the deal as an expansion into the New Zealand market, Telstra said the offering will make use of its 24/7 Open Managed Security Services (MSS) platform.

"We are exploring similar arrangements in the managed services, cloud, and digital services domains," Telstra Enterprise group executive Michael Ebeid added.

"Customers are already talking with us about how we can not only help them improve their operations in New Zealand but also reach global markets via our global capabilities."

As a result, Telstra has also announced appointing an MD of New Zealand, choosing former IBM New Zealand managing director Rob Lee.

"Telstra's Security capability has deep roots in New Zealand as Telstra's centre of excellence for Cyber Security DevOps and Data Science is located in Christchurch," Australia's incumbent telco added.

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"This globally leveraged capability is built on Telstra's 2016 acquisition of advanced security analytics provider Cognevo and forms a key part of Telstra's Managed Security Services offering."

Vodafone New Zealand has been moving to expand its services across government security solutions; in February, it was also approved to supply additional services under the New Zealand government's telecommunications-as-a-service (TaaS) panel, adding more managed security offerings.

The Kiwi carrier had been originally appointed to the government's TaaS panel to provide managed security services, connectivity, communications, contact centre, and aggregation services back in 2015.

Vodafone NZ last month reported a full-year profit drop of NZ$7.7 million down to NZ$39 million despite rising revenues, attributing the result to a "highly competitive market" and declining profitability in the broadband segment.

Revenue was up by NZ$5.1 million to NZ$2 billion off the back of increasing mobile customer numbers. Vodafone NZ said it added 92,000 customers over the last 12 months while rivals Spark gained 58,000 and 2degrees lost 27,000 customers.

Telstra's own focus on security has also seen it plan to launch a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in London, with CEO Andy Penn telling ZDNet back in February that cybersecurity is becoming critical for all businesses.

Penn told ZDNet that the London SOC would have the "same dynamic" as its Melbourne and Sydney centres, which operate virtually as one room with interaction between all of the operators.

"It builds up the ecosystem of the security capability that we have," he told ZDNet.

"What it enables us to do is either directly for our customers, particularly the large enterprise customers, and/or in partnership with our customers, monitor all of their own in-house networks to make sure that we can identify the aberrant behaviour and the aberrant traffic, any malware, also effectively intervene quickly, and the security operations centres also have crisis management centres in conjunction with them, and it enables us to actually [interact] quickly with the customer, with the teams wherever they are in the world to really manage an incident if and when it occurs."

The London SOC will also house around the same amount of workers as its Sydney and Melbourne centres, he told ZDNet, which see teams of around 25 people from its 500-strong cybersecurity expert base monitoring 24/7.

Under the Telstra2022 strategy, meanwhile, the telco said it would be creating 1,500 new roles that will be mainly across software engineering and cybersecurity.

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