AT&T leverages SDN transition for another service, Threat Intellect for network security

AT&T (NYSE: T) today announced a new network threat monitoring and management service dubbed Threat Intellect that the carrier said leverages its investments into software-defined network (SDN) technology and network functions virtualization (NFV).

Specifically, the carrier said its ongoing move to SDN and NFV technology will allow it to more quickly and easily identify and defend against network threats and hacking, and that it will sell its new threat monitoring services to businesses and others.

"In the past, you had to know exactly where a specific file was stored to access it. Now, you only need a key word to find that file," said Steve McGaw, chief marketing officer of AT&T Business Solutions, in a release from the company. "AT&T Threat Intellect has a similar capability. It is the power behind every AT&T firewall, network security protection and every other security capability we have integrated in our network and services."

McGaw added that AT&T already sees more than 30 billion "vulnerability scans" every day, and 400 million spam messages, as it monitors 117.4 petabytes of data crossing its network. He said the company's new Threat Intellect will allow AT&T to process "5 billion security events, a full day's worth of activity for all of our security customers combined -- in only 10 minutes."

And the company's new threat service -- which offers analytics, monitoring, protection and machine learning -- leverages software and virtualization to offer customers quicker threat-detection services, AT&T said. "We're managing our network with less reliance on hardware and more on software. This transition will allow us to deploy services like security more rapidly. We can update security protections automatically instead of relying on manual updates. That's what this transition to virtualized security looks like for our customer deployments," AT&T noted on its website. "AT&T's virtualized firewall solution includes additional layers of security like intrusion detection, application control, antivirus solutions, and web filtering to help protect information stored in the cloud."

AT&T's first SDN-based service, Network on Demand, counts more than 1,000 customers since AT&T first began offering the service in 2014. Since then, the carrier has worked to offer additional services, such as NetBond, based on its transition to SDN and NFV technology.

AT&T has said it is on track to virtualize 30 percent of its network functions by end of this year on its way to virtualizing 75 percent of its network by 2020.

For more:
- see this AT&T release and webpage

Related articles:
AT&T open sources ECOMP to Linux Foundation, hopes to make it industry's standard for SDN
AT&T's Donovan: 2016 is a critical year in virtualizing our network
AT&T's Donovan: We'll migrate 80% of our apps into the cloud by end of 2016
Jarich: Open vs. Closed. Fast vs. Slow. -- Why are operators giving up on vendor-led innovation?

Article updated July 15 to correct information about AT&T's Network On Demand customers.