Trend Micro to Acquire Mobile Armor for Encryption Technology

Trend Micro is buying endpoint encryption vendor Mobile Armor to complement its data security plans.

Trend Micro revealed plans today to acquire Mobile Armor in a move meant to expand the company's encryption capabilities.

The acquisition, which is being made for an undisclosed sum, is expected to close before the end of the year. Mobile Armor offers full disk, file, folder and removable media encryption for endpoints. Its technology targets different kinds of devices, including tablets, laptops, smartphones and flash drives.

According to Trend Micro, the buy is meant to complement the company's existing data loss prevention, e-mail encryption and cloud encryption products. This includes SecureCloud, the hosted key management and data encryption service the company announced in August.

"This acquisition will expand our endpoint security market reach and will provide our customers with proven technology for encrypting data on laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones," said Eva Chen, CEO of Trend Micro, in a statement. "Mobile Armor's solutions further our vision of protecting digital information wherever it resides and complements our recent announcement of Trend Micro SecureCloud for securing and controlling data in the cloud. Mobile Armor's endpoint encryption suite will enhance our data protection portfolio for the cloud computing era."

The market for encryption tools has seen some movement lately, in particular with the acquisitions of PGP and GuardianEdge by Symantec earlier this year. Symantec discussed its encryption integration plans with eWEEK in October.

One of the key factors driving the market is regulatory compliance, a fact underscored by Ponemon Institute's recent "U.S. Enterprise Encryption Trends" report. According to Ponemon, 69 percent of the 964 people surveyed listed compliance as their No. 1 reason for using encryption, as compared with 44 percent in 2006.

"Given the fact that tough new data protection regulations mandate the use of encryption as a hedge against data breaches, enterprises are under increased pressure to invest in these technologies in order to comply," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, in a statement accompanying the release of the encryption report. "The HITECH Act and Massachusetts 201 CMR 17 are two examples of regulations which require businesses to encrypt sensitive consumer information or face stiff penalties for non-compliance, the impact of which is reflected in our research."

Currently, there are no plans to change the Mobile Armor product portfolio or discontinue any of the products, said Wael Mohamed, senior vice president of Global Strategic Alliance and Business Development at Trend Micro. Ultimately, Mohamed continued, the goal is to "integrate the Mobile Armor technology into Trend Micro's data protection offerings, in particular its endpoint security product portfolio so customers can enjoy an integrated endpoint security solution that will include comprehensive data encryption."

Michael Menegay, CEO of Mobile Armor, said in a statement that the acquisition will add to Trend Micro's data protection strategy and contribute "to Trend Micro's mobile and cloud security initiatives."

"Trend Micro's worldwide reach and extensive resources will add value to Mobile Armor's customer base," Menegay said.