Sprint readies net services to scan for viruses at user firewalls

Sprint readies net services to scan for viruses at user firewalls

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

FTS 2001 contractor Sprint Corp. is readying a pair of network security outsourcing services.'The telecommunications company began managing Internet gateway virus scanning for a few customer sites last summer and plans a general rollout by next month.

The Global Internet Virtual Private Network service will provide secure site-to-site and remote access in 30 countries.

The services complement but do not replace in-house security efforts, said Scott Lane, group manager for Sprint's professional services. 'Selective outsourcing is viable,'' Lane said. 'I don't think total outsourcing is the right way to go.''

Sprint has licensed InterScan VirusWall from Trend Micro Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and will install the software at the user site's firewall. Sprint will manage the software, update signature files and the scan engine as needed, and report virus activity.

It claims to be the first Internet service provider to scan for viruses at the Internet gateway, intercepting them before they get to desktop systems.

'The technology to do this hasn't been around very long,'' said Diane Rainone, market development manager for Sprint's managed services section.

The rapid spread of the Melissa e-mail virus highlighted the changing nature of viruses, said Dan Schrader, Trend Micro's vice president of new technology. Network-aware viruses that proliferate through e-mail should be stopped at the network level, he said.

InterScan VirusWall scans code traveling in Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, Hypertext Transfer Protocol and File Transfer Protocol traffic, looking for known virus signatures. Trend Micro regularly updates the library of signatures, and Sprint in turn will remotely update the software at customer premises.

Because a network is only one vehicle for spreading viruses, however, the gateway service cannot replace desktop antivirus software, Lane said.

Contact Sprint at 800-810-4468.

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