Talking cybersecurity with Unisys' Tim KelleherWhat Is Keeping Your COO Awake at Night?

Published 24 April 2008

An HSDW conversation on Cybersecurity with Tim Kelleher, vice president of enterprise security, Unisys

Created from the combination, in 1986, of Sperry and Burroughs, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based Unisys claims a heritage of 100-plus years of experience in many areas of information technology — so many, in fact, that recently the company decided the time had come for an exercise in self-definition. Not an overhaul of any kind, this was to be simply an effort to identify the main streams of proficiency in a firm that was active in a broad field of endeavor.

We asked ourselves, what do we do best?” Tim Kelleher, vice president of enterprise security for Unisys, told Homeland Security Daily Wire. “We have a rich portfolio and we’re not changing it. But we wanted to package it up, make it easier to grasp. We recognized five primary areas and determined we would concentrate on them.”

In the key area of security (the others are outsourcing, Microsoft, open source, and real time infrastructure), Unisys saw itself as an especially strong player, with mastery ranging from physical to applications to network to management: what Kelleher termed “this mile-wide breadth of security capabilities that we’d amassed.”

In contrast to other providers of IT services that partake in one portion of risk management, Unisys not only helps organizations manage enterprise risk, it also uncovers and evaluates a company’s vulnerabilities, recommends a solution, and integrates a system that affords the organization improved risk control. This is the framework that the company is going to market with, confident that now — given the breadth of its capability — its message matches up with its prowess.

That message boils down to full-spectrum risk management. A reliable defense cannot be mounted against an unspecific threat. In the Unisys view, few IT companies can truly claim to be able to show an enterprise where its security risks lie across the entire breadth of the enterprise: help of the kind that Unisys considers to be both art and science. In this sense, every client solution is customized. The objective, however, is always the same — to apply the right kind of protection where it will do the most good, while staying within the client’s budget.

Kelleher said, “We ask the question, what keeps you awake at night? Web applications? Privileged access? The client gives us our starting-point. Then we lay out a road map, touching at all the points of vulnerability. When these are addressed, the corporation is fortified.”

While most clients have at least a