Tech Industry

Unisys emphasizing security services

The computer technology and services firm beefs up its security consulting practice to grab a larger portion of the multibillion-dollar worldwide market for risk management.

Computer technology and services company Unisys on Wednesday said it will beef up its security consulting arm, announcing a new approach to risk assessment and information security.

Rather than focus on providing quick fixes for security problem, Unisys intends to offer tailored plans aimed at getting clients to approach security as a fundamental part of their business, said Sunil Misra, Unisys' newly appointed chief security adviser. The company is also looking to increase the number of security professionals on its staff.

"An increased emphasis on security is the best way to phrase what this is," he said. "We have been doing security for a long time; this is additional investment and the announcement of an enhanced methodology."

With its new focus, Unisys hopes to gain ground in the security consulting sector. The company is competing with the likes of IBM Global Services, the Big Four accounting firms, and several boutique security services firms for what market researcher IDC estimates will be a $52 billion market for information security in 2005.

Unisys is basing its new security efforts on research results and customer comments on security issues. The services firm found that half the companies it studied had significant overall security problems that needed immediate attention and that executives typically didn't communicate directly with those who planned security for the company.

"It is really a broader issue of business integration, encompassing business processes that address potential areas of risk at all levels of the business--cyber, operational, physical and financial," Misra said in a statement.

The push comes at a time when the interest in information security is at an all-time high but information technology budgets have shrunk. Unisys--whose business consists of roughly a third in government, a third in financial and a third in corporate--has found that government spending on security seems to be increasing while the other two sectors decline.

"Our emphasis hasn't changed, but the budgets have changed," Misra said. "It is an economy-related issue."