Trend Micro snaps up UK-based email crypto firm
Scrambling for safety
Trend Micro, the security firm best known for its PC-cillin anti-virus software, has acquired UK-based email encryption firm Identum. Terms of the deal, announced Monday, were undisclosed.
Identum's email encryption technology will be rolled into Trend's existing portfolio of content and web-security products under the Trend Micro brand. Created via a commercial spin-off from the University of Bristol's cryptography department, Identum's flagship product is Private Post. Identum claims its technology, based on elliptic-curve cryptography, is easier to use and administer than other approaches to rolling out corporate email encryption. The firm employs ten people.
Email encryption and anti-virus technologies have historically been seen as uneasy bedfellows. For one thing, it's necessary to decrypt messages before you could look inside them for malware. Encryption and anti-malware technologies have traditionally been offered by separate firms. Network Associates' (now McAfee) undistinguished stewardship of PGP is the exception that proves the rule.
More recently this has changed, with managed security firms such as MessageLabs offering email encryption as part of their portfolio. Trend Micro's foray into this space marks a move of one of the big four anti-virus firms into the market. Anti-spam firms became an acquisition target for anti-virus firms four or five years ago, and the same process may repeat itself in the encryption marketplace. ®
"Trend Micro may have upset a few of you in the free software arena, but for those of us in the real world..."
The "free software arena" and the real world are one and the same, didn't you know? Free software provides most of the infrastructure of the Internet, in fact. (Especially if you include permissively-licensed stuff that vendors are able to fork and close.) What did you think was out there? A big Microsoft Exchange server installation running all the e-mail on the planet? NetBEUI broadcasts to find www.google.com and the like?
There's nothing wrong with providing a business around software, but there is a lot wrong with people filing bogus claims on stuff they've thought of and then taxing everyone else who strays near their turf. But I suppose "growing up" to people like you is about pretending to be all businesslike (flaunt that "corporate" thing as if we're impressed), and letting the likes of Trend Micro dip into your wallet whether you're using their stuff or not.
Trend Micro may have upset a few of you in the free software arena, but for those of us in the real world where protection to a corporate network is vital then they do a job as well as anyone. At least they work to integrate products unlike the losers at Symantec and McAfee who just slap it in a new box and call it integrated. Baracuda are not exactly blameless in this and having tried to use their product I fail so see why they are even still in business.
Not only is Identum a "spin out" from a university, meaning that everyone involved was probably funded by the taxpayer before they skimmed off the cream and took it all private, but then...
"Private Post is built upon patent-pending technology"
So it's all about academics betraying the very principles of academic inquiry by getting their hands on illegitimate instruments of "intellectual property": software and process patents.
I guess they'd be good bedfellows with the despicable Trend Micro.