Trend Micro's Growth Plans Keep Focus on the Cloud

Q&A: Trend Micro CEO Eva Chen discusses the company's recent acquisition of e-mail encryption vendor Identum.

Trend Micro CEO Eva Chen has made no secret of her company's software as a service strategy. In the past year, the Japan-based company has launched a number of SAAS initiatives, pushing security into the cloud. Its latest acquisition, Identum, will add to the company's cloud computing portfolio.

In discussions with eWeek's Brian Prince, Chen laid out why last month's purchase of UK-based Identum fit into the company's strategic roadmap, and whether SAAS will become the dominant delivery model for security in the future. Here is an edited transcript of the conversations.

What were Trend Micro's reasons for acquiring Identum?

I think the interesting thing about why we acquired Identum is that Identum is an encryption technology, but their technology is mainly on the key management. In our mind the most important, the biggest part about encryption is actually key management because, you know PKI has existed, encryption has existed for years.

Why companies did not widely deploy because the key management, the encryption key management was a very, very difficult and a very hard to manage process for a lot of corporations. Identum has this unique technology of identity-based encryption, and making the key management, key exchange much easier. That's why we acquired Identum.

That is a nice integration into our overall content security profile because we always believe content security is about who is doing what and where, and this identity based encryption adds to the who part.

That also seems to play into the whole idea of DLP, which Trend Micro made a play in when it purchased Provilla.

Yes. Trend Micro, our acquisition strategy has always been very targeted at the technology that can fit into (our) strategy ... rather than trying to buy revenue or trying to buy market share.

How do you see Identum's key-sharing technology being adapted to uses beyond mail encryption? Will [Identum's] Private Post platform be expanded to handle other types of data in transit?

Encryption is a key addition to our overall content security focus to better serve our customers. E-mail encryption is one of the toughest encryption nuts to crack. Identum cracked this nut. It opens great opportunities in securing data across the board. We are still exploring the where's and how's of delivering solutions using the technology.