Networx ideal for centralized security

The federal government's need for strict control of its computer systems and networks makes it a perfect fit for emerging services that enforce security policy through centralized network-based intelligence.

Outside of a few departments involved in law enforcement and national security, federal employees have no need to view inappropriate Web sites, so agencies are ideal settings for centralized Web policy enforcement, said Edward Amoroso, chief security officer at AT&T.

Through Networx, federal agencies now can choose from among eight managed-security services that promise to simplify the administration of the government's security policies by embedding enforcement within a provider's network.

AT&T Government Solutions' managed-firewall service, for example, routes an agency's traffic through equipment on the company's network that screens and blocks malicious code before it reaches the agency. By offloading those functions, AT&T can spare agencies the time and expense of installing and managing firewalls, he said.

AT&T today performs traffic screening for its managed-security services by routing all traffic through its data centers. Eventually, however, the company plans to distribute that function throughout its network. 'From an infrastructure perspective, we would like to bring these services into the very fabric of the network to use all of our switches and routers as security and policy enforcement devices,' Amoroso said.

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