Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) on Thursday introduced a managed endpoint security service from McAfee to its growing base of small to medium business (SMB) customers.
With the new Endpoint Security Protection service, Windstream takes on the burden of handling multiple security products by giving SMBs a single solution to detect and block viruses, spyware, spam, phishing attempts and hacker attacks. As a proactive service, Endpoint filters and quarantines threats carried by email in the cloud before they have a chance to reach a customer's network.
Windstream is likely looking at this from the angle that, while SMBs can go out and purchase off the shelf licenses from McAfee, they do not typically have the resources to deal with or prevent larger-scale security problems.
Two key points of the new service are affordability and ease of use. SMBs that may already use Windstream for telephone and data services have an established relationship with the provider and may be more likely to adopt the service versus having a local IT dealer provide it to them to protect their PCs and laptops.
Endpoint Security Protection includes the ability to customize protection by blocking websites and emails that "are potentially dangerous or cause employees to be less productive." Unlike when companies manage software releases on their own, Windstream will also provide automatic updates and upgrades to ensure they have the most up-to-date security elements in place to deal with emerging threats.
While cloud-based security services are still relatively nascent, Windstream is tapping into a market that does have great growth potential. A recent survey from Infonetics estimates that global demand for managed cloud-based security services will grow 83 percent between 2011 and 2016.
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