Virtualization is the Key for Delivering SMB Security Services
Earlier, we shared 7 Key Cybersecurity Challenges SMBs Face, and more recently made the business case for addressing the security needs of the SMB, but how can CSPs deliver these services and tap into these new revenue streams? Virtualization and more specifically Network Function Virtualization (NFV) with multi-tenant capabilities will allow CSPs to deliver a wide-range of services that can alleviate the issues faced by SMBs.
Given flat ARPUs and declining revenues carriers are facing, being able to easily deliver new revenue opportunities through a value-add and upsell opportunity for new and future customers is necessary to remain competitive. Not only do NFV offerings enable SPs to realize new revenue streams, they provide a flexible cybersecurity solution that meets enterprise-level requirements with a TCO that meets the SMB resource availability.
As we mentioned earlier, for the SMB a cyber-attack can be devastating to business and they are right in the crosshairs of the criminals. More than 60% of cyber-attacks target SMBs. Of those attacked, 60% cease operations within six months of the breach, in part due to the $400,000 price tag of the average SMB breach.
In the past, adequate cybersecurity involved sourcing, implementing and managing multiple appliances at various points throughout the network. These involved multiple truck rolls for installation and every time services were added or changed. Besides being costlier to implement and maintain for the SP, they were limited in their ability to address threats.
Whereas today, modern NFV technologies can enable multiple complex cybersecurity applications to run on one central platform and services delivered virtually. The result is less equipment, and fewer truck rolls needed due to easier administration and manage multiple software pieces on the same hardware, either in parallel or intermittently, and extend those NFV-managed applications to provide cybersecurity at an enterprise-level throughout the SMB network, all while reducing TCO for both the SP and the SMB customer.
Delivered through a universal CPR (uCPE) these virtualized services can be delivered as virtual network functions (VNFs). For example, ECI’s Mercury NFV family lets SPs mix and match a rich library of certified ECI and third-party VNFs, such as cybersecurity tools, for a fast and simple way to differentiate from the competition and provide value via customer-specific virtual portals, providing à la carte provisioning, upgrades, and upsell opportunities.
SPs can deliver a wide-range of services that are:
- Flexible – Supports application delivery for fixed, mobile and converged networks, and will evolve to meet the future needs of IoT and 5G backhaul
- Agile – Enables a mix and match of multiple functions on the same platform to create innovative service packages provided in full pay-as-you-grow models
- Shortened time to market – A simple remote service life cycle management, from provisioning to turn up, dramatically reducing the time to evaluate, finetune and deliver new services
- Reduced OPEX – Streamlines service creation using software-driven processes, eliminates truck rolls to provision, maintains and updates applications
As SPs are looking to maximize their current network assets, virtualized services make great business sense. Virtualization can help unlock hidden revenue potential and create additional value on top of current assets in a future-proof way. Since uCPEs deliver modular applications based on open industry standard architecture, SPs can easily integrate it into current operations and enjoy end-to-end orchestration – not only for cybersecurity services, but a wide-range of business services as well.
Ultimately, these factors are having, and will continue to create, far-reaching consequences favorable to enabling SPs to provide managed services with multi-tenant solutions, enterprise-quality features and scalability, with an SMB-friendly price tag and favorable TCO and reduced OPEX. Security and other business solutions once beyond the resources of most SMBs, can then be made available in a variety of flexible and cost-effective ways..