Proctor & Gamble, the global manufacturer of household products has chosen IBM ISS to provide managed security services.

"By teaming with IBM ISS, our objective is to both strengthen our security systems and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our security operations," said Willie Alvarado, Enterprise Infrastructure Services director at P&G.

While P&G declined to discuss details about the security outsourcing arrangement, IBM ISS Director Peter Evans says the managed services will include internal network protection and perimeter-based defence. "Managed intrusion prevention, firewall, server protection, managed desktop and managed mail are all part of this," he says. (Compare intrusion prevention products.)

IBM ISS earlier this year indicated it was expanding its managed services portfolio, and the five-year deal with P&G is believed to be the largest single managed services deal the vendor has seen, though it is declining to put a value on the contract.

P&G will not be shedding security staff in this outsourcing arrangement, according to Evans.

"P&G will still maintain their security staff," says Evans, pointing out that they will now have more time to focus on strategic projects for online collaborative business or in mergers.

IBM ISS operates several security operations centers where remote monitoring and management of customer networking operations takes place.

Under the outsourcing arrangement, P&G will partner in what IBM ISS calls a "virtual security operations centre" (VSOC) in which P&G will have a web-based portal that offers vulnerability assessment, data correlation and analysis. The VSOC will consolidate monitoring and maintenance of four IBM ISS Proventia SiteProtector management consoles in North America, Europe and Asia.

IBM ISS also anticipates the services for P&G may be expanded to include identity and access management and data-leakage prevention services in the future.

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