AT&T to create cybersecurity joint venture

AT&T will retain an ownership stake and board representation in the new entity

AT&T announced an agreement to create a standalone managed cybersecurity services business.

In a release, the telco also announced a capital investment in that business from WillJam Ventures, a Chicago-based investor with cybersecurity industry and leadership experience.

The new cybersecurity joint venture will hold select security software solutions, associated managed security operations and security consulting resources. AT&T will retain an ownership stake and board representation in the new entity, the company said.

This arrangement will enable the telco to continue offering managed security services, while simultaneously focusing on enhanced network-based security capabilities.

AT&T highlighted that it is building more security capabilities into its core network and edges. These security services will be ‘built-in’ to its connectivity products, which will create a new category of network-embedded security for small and medium sized business customers, the carrier said. AT&T noted it is currently undergoing controlled introductions for these new products.

By bringing together network-embedded security and global managed security service provider (MSSP) capabilities, business customers will have stronger protections and security postures end-to-end, the operator reiterated.

“Security has never been more important – to our customers and to AT&T. Our direct focus remains on unlocking the power of our best-in-class connectivity with embedded security features that will allow our network to intelligently protect customers end-to-end. We’re energized about this new business model and the opportunities and capabilities these network enhancements will bring to the market,” said Rick Welday, head of AT&T Enterprise Markets.

“Today’s cybersecurity landscape is more dynamic and challenging than ever – rapidly expanding attack surfaces combined with an intensifying cybersecurity skills gap are driving businesses to adopt managed security services to safeguard their digital assets. Working together we’ll be uniquely positioned to protect organizations globally and WillJam Ventures is excited to extend our relationship with AT&T as its preferred cybersecurity provider for business customers going forward,” said Bob McCullen, managing partner at WillJam Ventures.

AT&T said it expected the transaction, which is subject to regulatory reviews and customary closing conditions, to close during the first quarter of next year. The telco did not reveal additional terms of the transaction.

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