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Airtel partners Symantec to distribute B2B cyber security solutions in India

Bharti Airtel has tied up with cyber security firm Symantec Corp to distribute B2B enterprise security solutions in India. The telco said that under the terms of the agreement, Airtel will be the exclusive cyber security service partner and distributor for Symantec’s products in India. Most of Symantec’s solutions being distributed will be focused on cloud security products and software.

Symantec’s cloud security solutions broadly focuses on 4 aspects including access control to critical server/databases, information/data protection, cyber threat protection, and workload protection. Apart from cloud security, Symantec will provide threat intelligence services, managed security services, incident response services and cyber skills development services to enterprises.

On the other hand, Airtel had launched a new suite of B2B services in April this year which offered services like voice, data, video services, and other enterprise communication services for both SMEs and bigger firms. Symantec’s cloud solution will be coupled with this, but Symantec will continue to retain its brand name when its products are being sold in India. Airtel’s B2B segment claims to serve over 2,000 large enterprise and more than 250,000 corporate and tech startups in India. In addition, it also claims to provide telecommunication services to Central and State Government departments/divisions.

Note that Symantec’s rival Mcafee also has tie ups in India, although this is on the B2C side. In March this year, Micromax partnered with Intel for installing Mcafee’s mobile security apps in all of its smartphones and tablets. Intel had acquired Mcafee back in 2011.

Who might be the focus for B2B security solutions?

During a MediaNama cloud security discussion in July, Manish Tiwari, Chief Info Security Officer, Microsoft India pointed out that the financial industry is the most hit in terms of cyber-attacks. He also said that financial industry has a history of neglecting basic cyber security practices. For e.g. ATMs still use outdated Windows XP system or an older Linux system, when the shelf life of Windows XP itself ended in 2010. While in a separate instance, a malware infection within Hitachi Payment Service’s network ended up compromising data of 32 lakh debit cards in India in February. When people’s money is involved, fin-tech and financial sector will need to look at cyber and info security as part of company strategy and not just as a secondary outsourced strategy.

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