Trend Micro Pushes Virtualization Security

Trend Micro Core Protection for Virtual Machines is designed to protect virtual machines whether they are active or offline. The virtualization security product from Trend Micro is an attempt to provide new levels of malware protection for VMs.

Trend Micro is pushing ahead with plans to bolster its virtualization security portfolio with a new offering designed to protect VMware ESX/ESXi environments.

Dubbed Trend Micro Core Protection for Virtual Machines, the product is slated to be available in August. Designed to protect both active and dormant VMware virtual machines, the product "leverages the VMsafe APIs from VMware to offer layered protection through the use of dedicated scanning VMs coordinated with real-time agents within the VM," Trend Micro said in a news release.

"The typical model across the industry has been you sit on an [operating system] and then you protect yourself-the same OS that you're on, the OS itself and the file system on that same machine," said Harish Agastya, director of product marketing for server security at Trend Micro. "This model allows you to sit on one machine [and] protect that machine but also protect other machines."

Interest in virtualization has been growing as companies look to virtualize their data centers in the name of cost-effectiveness. It was partly for that reason that Trend Micro purchased Third Brigade in 2008 and has since rebranded and released Third Brigade's virtualization intrusion prevention technology.

But while server virtualization can increase efficiency in the data center, it also brings security challenges. Content security solutions that work in the physical world often "leave security gaps when deployed in virtual environments," as when offline VMs get infected because they are "unable to protect themselves with a virus scan agent and signature updates," officials at Trend Micro noted.

Likewise, "resource-intensive security operations such as scheduled full-system scans can significantly degrade the performance of the host and render the security ineffective, especially when initiated concurrently on multiple virtual machines," officials said.

With those and other problems in mind, Trend Micro Core Protection for Virtual Machines integrates with the VMware management infrastructure and synchronizes continuously with vCenter to reduce management complexity and allow for monitoring VM dynamics.

"As virtualization gains in popularity, it will bring forth new risks to the security of the data center," Punit Minocha, vice president of business development and incubation for Trend Micro, said in a statement. "Trend Micro Core Protection for Virtual Machines goes further than any other product in the industry towards providing specialized content security for virtual servers, both active and dormant, in today's dynamic data center."

Trend Micro Core Protection for Virtual Machines will be available both as a stand-alone product and as part of the OSCE X Advanced Suite. The solution will also be available as part of a new Virtualization Security suite that includes Trend Micro Deep Security, and can be deployed either as a stand-alone product or as a plug-in to OfficeScan Client/Server and managed through the OfficeScan console.