ISPs urged to take control of security

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ISPs urged to take control of security
Alkio argued in a discussion on the future of the internet that ISPs, unlike their customers, had the technical expertise to ensure high levels of computer security for users, and are missing a trick in not offering security as a service.

"Unless they are techies people do not want to be walking into a store, buying software and then setting it up and having to do it all again on an annual basis," he said.

"ISPs can offer all this for a small incremental cost and use such services to differentiate themselves, which is difficult to do on access price alone. It is a no-brainer."

Alkio explained that such a service would be highly valued by customers, and would significantly increase average revenue per customer for the ISP.

F-Secure has partnerships with 150 ISPs offering software as a service, and there is some evidence that ISPs could reduce customer churn, the rate at which they switch providers.

Alkio pointed to the success of computer management company Geek Squad, which has recently launched in Britain, claiming that it showed a demand for security as a service rather than leaving it to consumers or computer manufacturers.

However, ISPs may have to get smarter on security as the developing world comes online.

"India has four to eight million internet users at the moment, with that rising to 20 million by 2010 according to predictions," he said.

"Most of those users are unprotected and will be ripe for attack by online criminals. Those infected computers will be a danger to everyone online."
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