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AT&T Launches LevelBlue, Splits Cybersecurity! 🌐🛡️

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AT&T Splits Cybersecurity Services Business, Launches LevelBlue

AT&T, a multinational conglomerate holding company, has spun off its cybersecurity services business into a standalone entity called LevelBlue. The move is part of AT&T's strategy to divest non-core assets and focus on its core telecommunications business, including fiber and 5G networks.

LevelBlue is a joint venture between AT&T and private equity firm WillJam Ventures. The new entity aims to offer managed cybersecurity services that go beyond commodity security services. LevelBlue is expected to leverage AT&T's seasoned managed service business and its cybersecurity consulting, as well as the valuable assets acquired through the purchase of AlienVault in 2018. The joint venture is also expected to benefit from WillJam Ventures' deep cybersecurity industry experience.

Key Takeaways

  • AT&T has spun off its cybersecurity services business into a standalone entity called LevelBlue.
  • LevelBlue is a joint venture between AT&T and private equity firm WillJam Ventures and aims to offer managed cybersecurity services that go beyond commodity security services.
  • The move is part of AT&T's strategy to divest non-core assets and focus on its core telecommunications business, including fiber and 5G networks.

Growing Beyond Commodity Security Services

LevelBlue has a strong foundation in the cybersecurity services market, ranking fourth on the list of top 250 Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) in 2022. However, with the market becoming increasingly commoditized, LevelBlue will need to grow beyond its legacy MSSP services.

According to Joseph Blankenship, Vice President and Research Director for the Security & Risk group at Forrester Research, companies are moving toward the managed detection and response (MDR) model. He suggests that LevelBlue should follow suit and expand its offerings to include modular add-ons, such as emergency incident response and managed threat hunting. This will allow LevelBlue to gain a foothold in new customers and cater to small and midsize enterprises that may not yet have the appetite for a full-fledged service.

Jonathan Ong, a senior analyst in the managed security services group at business intelligence firm Omdia, believes that LevelBlue's divestment from AT&T will give the company more flexibility to tailor its offerings and combine the best products and services. This will be key to growing market share, especially in light of the consolidation trend driven by both vendors and security end-users.

However, LevelBlue will face challenges in growing its own team due to the high price of cybersecurity talent. The same workforce challenges that make managed security services attractive to companies also make it difficult for LevelBlue to expand its team.

To overcome these challenges, LevelBlue will need to focus on innovation and best-of-breed vendors to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving threat landscape. The company's use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in its Threat Detection and Response platform, as well as its access to the Open Threat Exchange (OTX), will help it stay ahead of cyber threats.

LevelBlue's reporting capabilities and global Security Operations Centers (SOCs) will also be essential in providing customers with the visibility and reporting they need to manage their cybersecurity priorities. The company's presence at the RSA Conference and its partnership with Cisco will help it stay at the forefront of cybersecurity consulting services.

In summary, LevelBlue's success will hinge on its ability to grow beyond commodity security services and expand its offerings to include MDR and other modular add-ons. The company's focus on innovation, best-of-breed vendors, and global SOCs will be essential in providing customers with the cybersecurity consulting services they need to manage their cyber risk and achieve business innovation.

A Close Partnership with AT&T

LevelBlue will be servicing AT&T's network customers, which are in the tens of thousands, as well as some of the new company's own managed cybersecurity services clients. The joint venture is expected to have a long and close relationship with AT&T, as many of the clients are mutual between network and cyber. LevelBlue will have eight Security Operations Centers (SOCs) around the world, providing continuous SOC support.

The company will have an internal research team, Blue Labs, that will focus on both threat research and new product development, including artificial intelligence capabilities. To better detect and respond to breaches, LevelBlue will use threat indicators from the Open Threat Exchange (OTX), which is originally part of AlienVault, a company that AT&T acquired in 2018. The OTX community includes 235,000 security professionals.

LevelBlue has governance, resource allocation, and board representation from WillJam Ventures, which holds a minority ownership stake in the company. The investment firm Richmond Advisory Group serves as a trusted third-party advisor to the company. LevelBlue has long-term debt, but the specifics of the debt are not disclosed.

LevelBlue has a global workforce of more than 1,000 employees. The company provides SOC and service support to customers and networks.

Conclusion and Recommendation

In conclusion, AT&T's decision to spin-off its cybersecurity business into a standalone managed cybersecurity services business called LevelBlue is a strategic move that will allow the company to focus on its core business while also providing customers with specialized cybersecurity services. The joint venture with private equity firm WillJam Ventures will provide LevelBlue with the necessary capital to grow and expand its services to a wider range of customers.

Based on this development, it is recommended that customers who previously relied on AT&T Cybersecurity services to consider transitioning to LevelBlue. The new venture aims to provide a seamless transition for existing customers and will continue to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies in the U.S. and many state, local, and federal governments.

Additionally, businesses that are currently not using managed cybersecurity services should consider LevelBlue as a potential partner to help secure their networks and data. With the increasing threat of cyber attacks and the growing need for secure digital infrastructure, partnering with a specialized cybersecurity provider like LevelBlue can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and protect their assets.

Overall, the launch of LevelBlue is a positive development for the cybersecurity industry, and customers can expect to benefit from the specialized expertise and resources that the new venture will bring to the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is LevelBlue and how is it related to AT&T?

LevelBlue is a standalone managed cybersecurity services business that was launched as a joint venture between AT&T and WillJam Ventures. It brings together AT&T's cybersecurity consulting, managed service business, and the assets acquired through the purchase of AlienVault in 2018. AT&T spun out its cybersecurity business to create LevelBlue.

What services does LevelBlue offer in the realm of cybersecurity?

LevelBlue offers a range of cybersecurity services, including managed security services, threat detection and response, cloud security, compliance, and risk management. It provides cybersecurity solutions to businesses of all sizes, from small startups to Fortune 1000 companies.

Why did AT&T decide to split its cybersecurity services?

AT&T decided to split its cybersecurity services to create a standalone business that could focus solely on cybersecurity. By doing so, AT&T aims to enhance its cybersecurity offerings and better meet the evolving needs of its customers. The move also allows AT&T to pursue new growth opportunities in the cybersecurity market.

How will existing AT&T cybersecurity customers be affected by the launch of LevelBlue?

Existing AT&T cybersecurity customers will be seamlessly transitioned to LevelBlue. The new venture aims to provide the same level of service and support to existing customers as they received from AT&T. LevelBlue will continue to offer the same range of cybersecurity services as AT&T.

What are the expected benefits of AT&T's cybersecurity services division becoming LevelBlue?

The creation of LevelBlue is expected to enhance AT&T's cybersecurity offerings and provide customers with more specialized and focused cybersecurity solutions. As a standalone business, LevelBlue can better focus on cybersecurity and pursue new growth opportunities in the market. The move is also expected to improve the agility and responsiveness of AT&T's cybersecurity services.

How does the creation of LevelBlue enhance cybersecurity offerings for businesses?

The creation of LevelBlue enhances cybersecurity offerings for businesses by providing more specialized and focused cybersecurity solutions. LevelBlue has a deep understanding of the cybersecurity market and can provide businesses with the latest threat intelligence and best practices. It can also offer businesses a more agile and responsive approach to cybersecurity, allowing them to quickly adapt to new threats and vulnerabilities.

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