Integrator, Dimension Data, continues to find good opportunities in the security space and recently completed an enterprise-wide Internet management (EIM) addendum to Melbourne Airport's solution.
Dimension Data's account manager for Australia Pacific Airports Corporation, Peter Lew, said that EIM was an area of security that was increasingly important to customers.
At Melbourne Airport, Lew said Dimension Data implemented a solution from Internet management software vendor Websense but it also sold other brands.
“If you look at how Internet viruses have spread across the world, controlling what your users are downloading from the Web is one way of limiting potential risks,” Lew said. “For many of our customers, it has become an essential component of a comprehensive security policy.”
Lew suggested it was not that hard to sell Internet management as a component of a broader security solution.
He said it is an obvious value-add, that was generating good licensing and services revenues for Dimension Data, but not all customers were interested.
“Melbourne Airport was easy to convince,” he said. “They already had issues and needed to address them. The business case is there for looking at controlling employees’ Internet usage. It is not a hard sell. It is part of an overall strategy.
“People are looking at security and saying that we have our firewall, we have our virus protection software, intrusion detection and then they see this as a logical extra component. It is actually a small cost when you look at the overall costs of Internet security.”
Lew said that some Dimension Data customers saw Internet filtering and Internet usage reporting as a “Big Brother-type” control mechanism and were therefore not interested in deploying it.
“It depends on the organisation,” he said. “Most universities have a different mindset from commercial enterprises. They have an open door policy but in commercial enterprise users are taking advantage of a facility that is being supplied by the employer.
“Many [commercial enterprises] want to restrict Internet access for security, legal, productivity and cost considerations. A lot of malicious code comes from Internet sites while there are legal implications as well. If users are given free range to download anything they want, the employer can be held legally responsible for damage to third parties and for licensing breaches.”
Lew also said many organisations paid for bandwidth based on how much they use so it can be a cost-controlling exercise. It also left bandwidth free for the crucial applications that are an integral part of productivity for most organisations these days."
Melbourne Airport had been a “mid-size” Dimension Data customer for the “last couple of years” mainly in network infrastructure and security projects, Lew said.
It had recognised the provision of high speed Internet access to its 200 employees as a spiralling cost.
The company then engaged Dimension Data to undertake a review which discovered “a significant percentage of bandwidth was being chewed up by non-work-related employee activity”.
After the review it decided to deploy the Websense solution.