Level 3 launches cloud-based Enterprise Security Gateway, aiming to reduce complexity, costs

Level 3 Communications has launched its Enterprise Security Gateway (ESG), a cloud-based network security system that addresses business customers' security needs as they transition to cloud services.

Set to be available on a global basis beginning on June 30, ESG will enable customers to move the security perimeter of their company or data center to the Level 3 network.

Chris Richter, SVP of managed security services at Level 3 Communications, told FierceTelecom what drove the company to develop ESG was that its customers said they were dedicating more IT resources toward battling security threats.

"I met with a group of CIOs in London and one of them said that they are spending 60 percent of his IT budget on just security, which is the wrong thing to do," Richter said. "It's starting to impact production and revenue generating IT."

ESG uses Level 3's network to provide carrier agnostic, network-based security protection, securing data on any device at any location through any connection or carrier. All customers will be able to leverage Level 3's global IP backbone capacity of over 42 terabits per second, and interconnection agreements to access security tools hosted in gateways.

The gateways will go in major metro areas in the United States, Europe and Latin America where Level 3 has high density PoPs.

Businesses don't have to be Level 3 customers to take advantage of the ESG service.

"You don't have to use a Level 3 network to realize the benefits of ESG," Richter said. "We designed it that way because we talked to a number of customers and they happen to like their local access providers, but they're tired of having to buy expensive premises equipment or backhauling traffic to a single firewall cluster in one part of the world."

Level 3 said ESG offers multiple carrier-class security services for customers, including anti-malware with sandboxing, data loss protection, application awareness and enforcement and next-generation firewall.

"With ESG we are taking best in class next-generation firewall technology and sandboxing technology and putting it on our network and spreading that footprint around the globe in the form of gateways or POPs so they can be in close proximity to our consumers," Richter said. "We'll be building gateways for the next two years, but we're targeting 40 gateways by the end of this year."

The system also enables customers to select the individual security controls within the gateways they need.

Ultimately, Level 3 is building what Richter calls an "ecosystem of security products" that will work together.

This ecosystem will also leverage network functions virtualization (NFV). "We're big believers in NFV and ESG [is] definitely following the NFV path," Richter said.

 For more:
- see the release

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