Trend Micro Pursues Expansion

The company stakes its future on broadening its services and partners.

Trend Micro is gearing up for a major product expansion this year that will introduce hardware, software and services that will move the company well beyond its roots as an anti-virus provider and, executives say, bring the company into the exploding market for on-demand services.

The company will introduce a new InterScan Web Security appliance on Feb. 27 and is planning to release more multifunction security appliances later in 2006.

At the same time, Trend is planning an aggressive expansion of its service-based offerings for enterprises and consumers, including a fee-based version of its free HouseCall security scanning service and intelligence services to help ISPs combat compromised computer networks, known as "botnets," Trend CEO Eva Chen told eWEEK.

The new products and features address what Chen said she sees as three dominant trends in the anti-virus market: the growing popularity of software as a service, the increasing importance of network- versus perimeter-based security and the fast-changing threat landscape.

"We need to transform ourselves from an anti-virus to a threat-protection company," Chen said.

But Chen is not keen on turning her company into a smaller version of Symantec.

"Vendors provide a way to integrate with other platforms and products," she said. "The integration point is the [system integrator], or the VAR or the enterprise customers own framework," she said.

"One vendor trying to offer a whole security suite ... I think that is just far beyond the capability of a vendor and its just not what the customers want."

To accomplish the transformation, Trend is focusing on access control, content inspection, and integrated network and application intelligence, she said.

Trends acquisition of IP filtering and online reputation vendor Kelkea last June will figure prominently in many of the companys plans, Chen said.

"We want to be able to say, This session comes from this IP address that is credible, then examine the protocols," she said.

Technology such as Kelkeas is used now to spot spam messages, but Trend will apply it to other areas in the near future, said David Rand, chief technologist of Internet Content Security at Trend, in Cupertino, Calif.

For example, companies might look for IP traffic coming onto their network from countries with which the company doesnt do business, Rand said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Trend Micros enterprise anti-spyware efforts.

Trend is planning to introduce a behavior monitoring system later in 2006 that will be able to monitor traffic in real time using Kelkeas online reputation database.

ISPs will be able to use the technology as an appliance or through a services-based model to spot bots and other compromised systems on their networks without requiring in-depth scans of the systems, Rand said.

The new version of InterScan, called the InterScan Web Security Appliance, is a hardware-based version of the companys InterScan software, with anti-spyware, anti-phishing and content filtering features.

Trend is planning other forays into the appliance market this year, as well.

An "all in one" messaging appliance scheduled for release in the summer will target small and midsize businesses and branch offices with integrated anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and Web content security.

The company is also hearing the clarion call of better security policy management from its enterprise customers and will be beefing up the policy enforcement features in its Network VirusWall product within the next quarter to provide more granular control over users, Chen said.

Among other things, Trend plans to use its HouseCall free online virus scanner in conjunction with VirusWall to provide network access control and an agentless alternative to Trends OfficeScan enterprise anti-virus client.

Unmanaged systems that are attempting to connect to a network will be scanned by HouseCall and cleaned before being allowed on a network, Chen said.

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