Telefónica steps up its security game with Eleven Paths “hothouse”

European carriers are all all about diversification these days – they have to replace those falling voice and SMS revenues somehow – but also about adding value to their managed services. As such, Spain’s Telefónica has created a new security company within its digital unit, named Eleven Paths.

Eleven Paths is staffed with the former employees of respected Spanish security outfit Informática 64 and led by that company’s CEO, Chema Alonso. The idea is to have the new company operate like a startup under Telefónica’s umbrella — the telco calls this a “hothouse approach” — in order to speed up development of new security products around the cloud and, of course, mobile devices.

“Our customers are supposed to be big companies and individuals,” Alonso told me. “At Telefónica Digital we’re thinking all countries in the world are our customers. All our security products are going to be focusing worldwide.”

Unsurprisingly given Informática 64’s development of the FOCA tool, one of the first Eleven Paths products will be a penetration testing (pentest) tool, for simulating attacks on companies’ systems in order to find vulnerabilities.

“Right now, companies are doing tests every three months,” Alonso said. “We need a new way of thinking about how penetration tests must be done. We think information systems must be built to be pentested by design.”

On the mobile side, Alonso said, Eleven Paths is working on making security products easier to understand and use in the world of small form factors and bring-your-own-device concerns. “It’s about the speed of the bad guys creating security threats,” he said. “We want to modify the way in which people think about security.”