Level3 Communications has opened its latest security operations centre (SOC) in central London, purpose built to monitor cyber threats in real time.
Jack Waters, Level3's chief technology officer, Andrew Crouch, regional president EMEA and Chris Richter, the senior vice president of security services, gathered to launch the state of the art cyber suite this week.
"[The opening of the SOC] signals continued investment in this region to really bring a global set of comprehensive solutions that our enterprise customers are really focused on: growth, efficiency and security," said Crouch.
According to Crouch, the migration to cloud services by its customers is a key aspect of Level3's security strategy, along with the need to monitor real-time threats.
"If you look at changing business models, erosion of the boundaries that they do business in, the movement to the cloud, mobility, employees bringing their own devices - there are a whole series of trends our customers are wrestling with," he said.
"Now, increasingly important is getting that security proposition whereby we can offer to them our ability and our capability to protect their environment, customers and suppliers.
"By opening the SOC facility it really gives us a differentiator in terms of a local-based facility that complements the other two facilities we have around the world."
The new facility is the third such centre opened by Level3, with the other two located in Broomfield, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona.
Level3's Richter said that the changing nature of cyber attacks means businesses now have to adapt quickly as new cyber threats emerge.
"If you go back 20 years the idea of protecting yourself against cyber security threats was basically built on the premise of installing a firewall and the firewall became your perimeter. Fast forwarding to where we are today it's hard to define where the perimeter is, it keeps expanding," he said.
Richter noted that network threats, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and botnet attacks, are on the rise which signifies a significant threat to business.
Indeed, recent research by Level3 on botnets and threat actor origins indicates that there has been a 38 percent increase in the number of command and control servers (C2s) operating in western and northern Europe.
"What we thought was safe yesterday is not safe today. Hackers are getting smart and going after systems that have a lot of capacity and a lot of connectivity", said Richter.
V3 was also shown the cyber security centre's threat monitoring room.
Dale Drew, senior vice president and chief security officer at Level3, demonstrated live how data is collected which can allow the firm to monitor threats in real time. He explains this process in the video below.
"Level3 is one of the larger network providers and one of the more interconnected network providers so a lot of the traffic we see is traffic going through us and we categorise all that traffic," he told V3.
When asked about data retention policies, Drew outlined how and why the firm stores collected data.
"We save data to be able to find the sources of the exploit as well as where the bad guys are coming from so we categorise what sort of threat it is, whether it's nation state, organised crime, competitors or hacktivists," he said.
"We store several months of the data. Our goal is to find the life cycle of the attack...we want to see the entire lifetime from an algorithm perspective.
"When we see anybody, whether it's a customer of ours or someone on the internet who is being victimised we will notify that person."
The development of purpose-built cyber centres seems to be on the rise as security is increasingly on the agenda for major firms, with both BT and the UK government recently moving to showcase similar centres in recent months.
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