Trend Micro Acquires Third Brigade for Data Center Security

Trend Micro has signed an agreement to buy Third Brigade to extend its data center protection strategy with virtualization and host intrusion prevention technologies. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2009.

Trend Micro is extending its data center protection strategy with a planned purchase of server and application security vendor Third Brigade.

According to Trend Micro, the company is buying the business to accelerate its dynamic datacenter security strategy and to provide customers with access to critical security and compliance software and vulnerability response services. The two companies have had an OEM agreement in place for 18 months, with Trend Micro integrating Third Brigade's intrusion prevention technology into Trend Micro OfficeScan.

"Not only is it the intrusion defense, intrusion detection/prevention capabilities, but also the Web application firewall, application control and reporting and inspection capabilities that Third Brigade brings to Trend Micro that we're very excited about in dealing with the dynamic data center and the security challenge of those data centers," said Steve Quane, president of the North America Business Unit and General Manager of SMB at Trend Micro. "We have a lot of enterprise data center customers coming to us asking us to take a leadership position in how both applications are protected and controlled, [and] also on how IDS and IPS technologies and firewalling all work in a virtual environment."

That's why the company is excited to extend its Trend Micro ServerProtect product lines with Third Brigade's technology and leverage Third Brigade's expertise in securing the data center, he explained during a conference call with analysts and media.

Paul Roberts, an analyst with The 451 Group, said the acquisition bolsters Trend Micro's capabilities in some areas - host intrusion prevention for one, making it more competitive with McAfee and Symantec. Both those companies made acquisitions in the IPS space a few years back, he noted. More important and intriguing is Trend Micro's push into the data center, virtualization and cloud security space, Roberts said.

"Obviously, this is a vision that's similar to the one (Symantec) articulated when it acquired Veritas, but stays focused on the core "threat protection" problem rather than recasting Trend as a security + storage vendor," he opined. "What's next? They'll need to do more to develop their data protection story. That could presage some kind of investment in the encryption space. They could also double-down with some kind of database monitoring technology, as well as Web application firewall capabilities to address PCI and the major avenue to all that juicy data in your databases."

Trend Micro officials said they will continue to develop along the lines of Third Brigade's existing product road map and will continue to offer its stand-alone products for the near term as well as the companies integrate elements of their portfolios.

The acquisition is subject to certain approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2009.