However, Bellefeuille said that companies such as Verizon can meet those demands while creating new opportunities for additional services aimed at thwarting targeted threats or providing automation services, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance server operation the company oversees for First Advantage.
"There will always be opportunities from an attack perspective for us to take action and protect customers on the backbone, and we'll do that," she said. "We've also driven a lot of internal innovation in last three years for fighting issues such as targeted attacks; we're building out the honeynets and doing more correlation of data. Now we're in the phase of launching services as both stand-alones and value-adds."
Verizon marketers foresee a future wherein the company could become a provider of end-to-end security outsourcing services.
While a majority of the services it has offered thus far have centered on external issues such as helping its customers ward off DoS threats and malware, the company is already getting its hooks into more internal security operations, such as identity management, filtering data pulled in by IDSes (intrusion detection systems), and providing protection for various types of databases and software applications.
BT beefs up its security offerings
BT is another carrier that has turned heads in the security community in recent years with its acquisitions and stated business strategies.
The company's security aspirations were perhaps illustrated best by its October 2006 acquisition of Counterpane, another MSS specialist.
As with Verizon, officials with BT said that the carrier is preparing to launch a far broader set of security services than merely those that it added through the Counterpane buyout.
Along with anti-DoS services -- and Counterpane's array of network monitoring, vulnerability scanning, and e-mail filtering skills -- BT officials contend that the company will soon be able to provide customers with security offerings such as antimalware filtering, embedded firewalls, UTM (unified threat management), and intrusion prevention.
Enterprise customers will become particularly amenable to such carrier security services as they continue to upgrade to next-generation networking infrastructure, said Mick Creane, head of managed security strategy at BT.
While the company has been providing anti-DoS services for years -- using technology sourced from vendor Arbor Networks, which targets its products directly at service providers -- there is a far broader opportunity for carriers to realize in security, he said.
"When everything has gone IP, we will be able to offer even more services and flexibility," he said. "Organizations are recognizing that the threats are changing so quickly that it's a huge challenge to keep pace, but that within the large carrier service providers, we have the necessary economies of scale and expertise to deal with this problem."
Over time, Creane contends that by pulling together more managed security and carrier services, companies such as BT will be able to provide an integrated set of network defenses that customers won't be able to rival with their own internal systems defense technologies.