Trend Micro Keeps Head in-the-Cloud With New Security Plans

Trend Micro pulled the covers off a host of products at a press event Wednesday - but will its SAAS strategy pay off?

In a manner of speaking, Trend Micro has kept its head in the cloud when it comes to security.

During the past year, the company has made several moves around software-as-a-service (SAAS), pushing Web reputation and other security technologies into the cloud. In a press conference Wednesday in New York, CEO Eva Chen unveiled a roadmap for more products leveraging its in-the-cloud technology as part of what she called the "Smart Protection Network."

Betting on security SAAS is far from a long-shot; in fact a number of companies, including Webroot and recently Hewlett-Packard, have made plays in this regard. IDC analysts have predicted worldwide spending on hosted messaging security services will reach $1.4 billion by 2011 - up from just $300 million in 2006.

According to Trend, at the heart of the Smart Protection Network is the idea of creating a global network of threat intelligence in the cloud to block Web-based threats before they ever touch a desktop or network. The approach will rely on several offerings the company is planning to make available later this year.

Among them are InterScan Web Security Software Virtual Appliance (IWSVA) and InterScan Messaging Security Software Virtual Appliance (IMSVA), which are slated to be released in the third quarter. IWSVA is designed to take aim at spyware and bots, and includes Web reputation, content scanning and URL filtering functionality. Its sister product, IMSVA, leverages Trend's in-the-cloud Email Reputation Service to offer protection against spam, botnets and malware, and also incorporates Web reputation technology to block access to malicious Web sites.

Complimenting the products will be a Software Virtual Appliance Certification Program to ensure compatibility between its software virtual appliance products and appliance hardware platform providers.

The company also unveiled plans for the Trend Micro Threat Management Solution, which will be broken up into two product suites - Threat Discovery and Threat Mitigation, available in quarters three and four, respectively. Taken together, the Threat Management Solution monitors the network for malware, collaborates with Trend Micro's in-the-cloud threat management services, performs network-wide cleanup and policy enforcement on the infected endpoints.