A lack of skills and a non-existent security culture has led Interbrew to outsource security services to managed security provider Ubizen.
Europe's largest brewer, which produces Stella Artois and owns Whitbread in the UK, told vnunet.com that company-wide email usage and dial-in services for global users had highlighted security issues and the need to limit weaknesses in the system.
Guy Mattheuwsen, IT network manager across western Europe for Interbrew, said: "We had no experience of security and we definitely didn't have a security culture. It was something we couldn't do with the existing skills of the team."
Interbrew uses Ubizen's OnlineGuardian to manage, monitor and support its networks on a 24/7 basis.
Ubizen processes and analyses millions of events and highlights only those that could pose a security threat allowing its security analysts to take action.
"For a bank it's a more sensitive issue to outsource security because the information on the system is vital to its business. But beer is our business," explained Mattheuwsen.
"Using Ubizen is at least half as expensive as doing it ourselves and, although we could have done it ourselves, I'm not sure that the quality of service would have been as good."
Mattheuwsen said that justifying investments in security is never easy, even though the company's Initial Public Offer earlier this year afforded the potential for more visibility than ever before.
Interbrew claimed that it has not suffered a single security breach since it signed the Ubizen deal.
Ubizen manages three million alerts every week on behalf of its clients, which include JP Morgan and online bank Egg in the UK.
It warned that the number of alerts generated by individual larger corporations has tripled in the past six months to as many as 150,000 a day.
"It takes only one weakness to quickly spread in a matter of minutes. That's the main driver for managed services," said Carlo Schupp, executive vice president at Ubizen.
He explained that the security of a system is only as good as its continuous maintenance.
"You need to constantly review and update processes," he said. "Setting up security isn't enough. That's where managed services comes in. We have seen banks where policies hadn't been reviewed for four years."
Despite the hype about security services, the Interbrew deal is bucking an industry-wide trend, according to analyst IDC.
Although awareness of enterprise security issues has never been higher, the analyst warned that a lack of understanding about potential risks, and confusing vendor messaging, are holding back spending on security services across Europe.
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