Receiving an investment of an undisclosed amount from WillJam Ventures, a Chicago-based investor with deep cybersecurity industry, AT&T plans to create a standalone managed cybersecurity services business. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The new cybersecurity joint venture is expected to hold select security software solutions, associated managed security operations and security consulting resources. AT&T will keep an ownership stake and have board representation in the new entity.

AT&T said the arrangement enables the company to continue offering its managed security services, while also focusing on enhanced network-based security capabilities.

AT&T Cybersecurity

The network is where security starts; that’s why AT&T is building more security capabilities into its core network and edges, the carrier said. These security services will be ‘built-in’ to the company’s connectivity products.

AT&T said this will create a new category of network-embedded security for small and medium sized business customers. The company said it is currently undergoing controlled introductions for these new products and said it will have more to share with the market soon.

“Security has never been more important – to our customers and to AT&T, Rick Welday, head of AT&T enterprise markets, said in a prepared statement. “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.”

The plan builds on AT&T’s expanded cybersecurity offers. Last month the carrier introduced a managed firewall service for business customers undertaking private 5G network deployments. The offering is the first in what the carrier said will be a portfolio of 5G security offerings. The managed firewall offering is designed to provide enhanced threat visibility, advanced attack prevention at the application layer and security policy enforcement for 5G-enabled IoT, “OT” and IT deployments.

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