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Vodafone’s diversification continues with the launch of ‘military-grade’ cybersecurity

UK telco Vodafone has been helping the government with its cybersecurity for years, now it’s offering those services to UK businesses.

It might come as a surprise to learn that Vodafone is so into cybersecurity. The dedicated business unit was originally part of Cable & Wireless, which Vodafone acquired in 2012. Since then it has quietly kept going about the business of offering the kind of super-duper protection organisations like the Ministry of Defence need to protect them from baddies.

Today’s Vodafone is of a mind to be ‘more than mobile’, however, and had decided it’s ready to widen the total available market for its ‘military-grade’ security offering. So now, having teased it by launching one component back in March, Vodafone is offering Business Security Enhanced to UK enterprises, public sector organisations, and critical national infrastructure providers.

“Cybersecurity now goes hand-in-hand with connectivity,” said Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone UK. “Every industry needs connectivity, so every industry needs to protect themselves from cybercrime. We have more than thirty years of experience working in some of the most sensitive and critical areas, and now we’re making our skills, knowledge and technology available to enterprises across the UK.”

BSE (not to be confused with mad cow disease) consists of three main components. Here’s how Vodafone describes them:

  • Cyber Enhanced (the one launched in March): A high-performance cybersecurity solution that brings together cybersecurity experts and military-grade technology. Vodafone can offer customisable levels of managed services to allow in-house cybersecurity teams to focus on proactive security measures
  • IoT Enhanced: Secure-by-design IoT solutions, custom-built to incorporate the nuances of each customer’s business. On-shore support and storage solutions to meet data sovereignty requirements in the UK
  • Mobile Enhanced: Services include end-to-end encryption, smart automation and centralised control, on-shore data storage and support from military-grade mobile and cyber security specialists

As you might expect, this isn’t being offered to any old punter. It’s a 24/7 managed service and is presumably fairly pricey, so only those organisations that value cybersecurity most highly need apply. Apart from all its telco inside knowledge, another advantage Vodafone has is the ability to apply this service to some of its own stuff, such as IoT.nxt.

In fact, the IoT part may offer the most promise in the long term if things go according to plan, with every last object in the world being connected. IoT Enhanced focuses on the core, as opposed to devices, to limit the damage even the most determined baddies can inflict.

If BSE goes well there’s presumably the potential for a further widening of the TAM and more diversification of the offering. According to Orange, the transformation forced on most businesses as a result of this crazy year means cybersecurity is now more valued than ever, so Vodafone may well have times this launch perfectly.

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