In addition to those defensive opportunities, the carrier also plans to offer more proactive security services, such as filtering out inappropriate or unauthorized Web sites and blocking access to those URLs for its business customers.
"Customers are beginning to get it, and in the short term, we can use it as a business differentiator, but in the long term, I think they will begin to expect a certain amount of security expertise," Creane said. "BT and other carriers are in a very powerful position because by embedding security into the network at a higher level, we will be able to do security cheaper than CPU-based products and services."
For now, most enterprises are just beginning to familiarize themselves with the carriers' expanding security services, but proponents maintain that the transition from companies doing more in-house to outsourcing more of their security responsibilities over to their existing bandwidth providers, will evolve quickly.
For some customers, the carriers' security vision has clearly already been embraced with enthusiasm.
"I believe that they can help us correlate high-risk incidents and threats with information about our IT assets that will allow us to focus on the most high-priority items at any given time, from a security perspective," said First Advantage's CTO Theisen. "We can then move into adoption of a more risk-based system for our information assets. Right now it's all about just getting the necessary framework in place."