Service provider Savvis this week plans to announce a managed service that offers a variety of security features without requiring hardware or software at a customer's location.Components of Savvis' Security Utility, which includes firewall, distributed denial of service (DoS) and worm attack protection as well as intrusion detection, were deployed at some customer sites earlier this year, and the company this week is making them generally available. The Security Utility is the latest addition to Savvis' IT Utility offerings, which include network, hosting, storage and computing services.Unlike hosted services from other managed security service providers, including ISS, Savvis' Security Utility works "in the cloud" to prevent threats and attacks before they reach the edges of a customer's network, says Chris Richter, vice president and general manager of Savvis' security products and services. Other service providers, such as AT&T and MCI, also offer "in the cloud" security services.This approach is particularly useful in warding off distributed DoS attacks, says Daniel Golding, senior analyst of Burton Group's enterprise network architecture division."If someone is shooting a gig of traffic at you every second, no matter how good your firewalls are it doesn't matter because they're too far down the pipe. But if your service provider, who has much larger circuits, can look at that traffic and reject it for you, you'll never see it," he says. "Really, in the cloud is the only effective way to protect against [distributed] DoS attacks."Savvis' distributed DoS protection service sits on the company's private WAN backbone, which Savvis says serves more than 25% of the world's Internet traffic. Savvis uses Arbor Networks' PeakFlow anomaly-detection products to find unusual activity on the network and Cisco's Guard XT devices to mitigate it, Richter says. The service compares and analyzes baseline traffic patterns in order to recognize anomalies often caused by distributed DoS or worm attacks.The distributed DoS service is available in two forms: Basic requires customers to notify Savvis of an attack, to which the company responds within 15 minutes; and Enhanced includes a monitoring service that automatically detects attacks and has a 5-minute response rate, Richter says. Pricing for the Basic service starts at $2,995 per month for one customer location with up to 256 public IP addresses; the Enhanced service starts at $5,990 for a similar scenario.The other components of Savvis' Security Utility are priced separately, depending on configurations and number of locations and users.