ISS: From Gate-Watcher to Gatekeeper
As a pioneer of a new form of security network intrusion detection in the mid-1990s, Internet Security Systems (ISS) made a name for itself. The company's early start in the field plus its technological edge helped it claim slightly more than 50% of the market. Now ISS is pushing into the burgeoning market for managed security services. The services are aimed at companies that lack expertise or resources to secure their own infrastructure.
Overall, Hession is pleased with ISS' products and ongoing support, although he experienced some problems early on in their relationship. "We had a lot of questions and they didn't always know the answers. The good news is they found the answers," he says.
Habeeb Qadri, president of MSH Consultants, acknowledges that the transition to a managed service can be difficult. "Companies love it, but a lot of information technology people hate it," says Qadri, a former technology chief at Oracle who has handled security issues for Charles Schwab, Pacific Bell and others as a consultant.
To guarantee network security, ISS takes away security privileges from the in-house technology staff. That is the chief cause of the friction, Qadri says.
For Deb Rich, senior network engineer with the University of Colorado Hospital, there were no such conflicts. Handing over security management to ISS made sense. "We don't have the manpower, and they have the expertise to do it better than we could," she says. The hospital has been using ISS' managed security services for about two years, and Rich gives the service and support a high rating.
Internet Security Systems
6303 Barfield Road, Atlanta, GA 30328
Launched company in 1994 along with Christopher Klaus. Previously held senior management position with Dun and Bradstreet Software. Has engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and business degree from Harvard.
Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer
Developed the company's first software program and flagship product, Internet Scanner, in 1992 while attending Georgia Institute of Technology.
Vice President, CIO
Has 26 years in technology industry. Previously, worked at Home Depot for 14 years as a member of technology team.
VP, Product Development
Responsible for company's X-Force team of security researchers.
Specializes in products and services to detect network intrusions, and to block unauthorized access. Company has made a push into the managed security services arena, with managed firewalls, intrusion detection.
Chief Security Officer
Project: Deployed ISS RealSecure Guard technology on its private financial trading network. Network handles billions of dollars in transactions between brokerage houses.
University of Colorado Hospital
Senior Network Engineer
Project: The Denver-based hospital has outsourced firewall and intrusion detection management to ISS after deciding it did not have the expertise or resources to do it in-house.
Chief Security Officer
Project: Has installed ISS' RealSecure intrusion detection software at every point of presence at the mutual fund company that managed more than $125 billion in assets as of this past June. The firm manages software internally.
Project: The Los Altos, Calif., Internet security and firewall consultant has deployed ISS software for a number of customers, including Charles Schwab, Pacific Bell and Synopsis.
Metropolitan Life Insurance
Project: Has used ISS' RealSecure monitoring and intrusion detection software to guard its firewalls for about six years at the New York City-based insurance company.
Executives listed here are all users of Internet Security Systems' products and services. Their willingness to discuss their experience has been confirmed by Baseline.