In a strategic move and a business coup, Benz International signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Extol MSC Berhad from Malaysia to establish a joint Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Dubai that will be catering especially to the Middle East market and beyond.
The Security Operations Centre (SOC) enables Benz International, the Managed Security Services (MSS) providers to be, a powerful tool to provide 24x7 surveillance and monitoring services to Benz’s enterprises clients in the Middle East. Providing easier manageability to an MSS provider translates to better service levels to customers in a win-win situation all round.
Extol’s Managed Security Services through a global standard SOC is a complete solution which automates the monitoring of IT systems and controls in real time, enabling enterprises to identify and respond to anomalies and policy violations quickly and efficiently. It collects, correlates, monitors and displays data from thousands of events per second in real time. Extol’s MSS helps by making sense of the volumes of data that these systems generate, and demonstrate enterprise compliance with internal policies and governed regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA, FISMA and others. This joint SOC will provide the market’s strongest solution for meeting the log monitoring and auditing requirements set forth by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards.
Extol’s Managed Security Services (MSS) is a complete suite of security outsourcing comprises of Extol’s proprietary applications with monitoring centre, the SOC based in Benz premises. Extol’s MSS global deployments of customer’s sites has gone as far as Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Labuan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, London, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and more to come. These sites are currently remotely managed from Extol SOC in Malaysia. Similarly MSS deployment sites in Middle East and beyond will be manageable from Benz’s SOC with Central Command Centre based in Extol, Malaysia.
Coupled with Extol’s Threat Profiling Methodology, the management of security events can be better tailored to meet individual customer’s threat and risk profile. Alerting according to threats that have a bigger impact to a customer’s business allow them to prioritize and maximize their use of resources.
The project which involves technology transfer from Extol, Malaysia, is expected to take place by 1st Quarter of 2008 and will be operational latest by 3rd Quarter of 2008. Benz International will invest to equip the data centre with hardware, software, peripherals and human resource.
“The Middle East market has been experiencing rapid economic development and the impact on IT security solutions is growing by leaps and bounds. With the SOC established with the assistance of Extol Malaysia, Benz International will be dealing directly with clients as a trusted service provider in offering effective Internet security solutions,” said Mr. Maneesh Gulati – Business Development Manager of Benz International FZ LLC.
According to IDC, spending on security software and appliances is expected to grow to nearly US$250 million. In 2006, investment in IT security software and appliances in the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar) jumped by almost 60% year-on-year to reach nearly US$180 million.
“The time is fitting for Benz International to step in and take charge of ICT security solutions segment as we understand the Middle East market and its needs. We will be able to manage clients’ Threat Management, Secure Content Management (SCM) and Security and Vulnerability Management from our SOC,” Mr. Maneesh further added.
Benz is targeting the financial, telecommunications and government sectors as these segments require critical attention in ICT security areas. Mr. Maneesh said the region is poised for continued growth as the market will grow steadily in the next five years. The popularity of appliance-based solutions is increasing as they are easier to implement, integrate and manage as opposed to “software only” solutions.
According to Mr. Justin Tan, CEO of Extol MSC Bhd: “Extol MSC Berhad has chosen to work with Benz International as the organization has established markets that extend throughout the Middle East, India, Central and Eastern Africa. This strategic partnership will realize our objective of offering effective security solutions to these markets through our extensive range of products and services for corporate and commercial entities.”
Commenting on the agreement between Extol and Benz, MDeC CEO Badlisham Ghazali said: “Extol has a track record of providing innovative solutions that fulfill the needs of both enterprises as well as small to medium businesses. By partnering with Benz International, we’re confident that Extol will become another Middle East success story for MSC Malaysia.”
The signing ceremony between Benz International and Extol MSC Berhad took place during the Malaysian Services Exhibition (MSE) showcase in Sharjah, UAE, from 13-15 January 2008.