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Trend Micro to eyeball malware from cloud

Gets suite with BigFix

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Trend Micro has unveiled a major update to its flagship scanning tools that puts your virus signature database online, plus a modular security and system management suite with partner BigFix.

Trend Micro's updated OfficeScan Client/Server Suite includes an interesting change to the way its flagship scanning software keeps its list of digital undesirables.

The most common method nowadays is letting each individual system store its own virus and malware signature database used for sniffing out hazards. Trend's now claiming this way is ineffective and takes too long to deploy across all clients and servers in a more complex setup. Apparently there's just too much malicious software floating about these days and downloading thousands of samples each time an individual system's scanning software phones home is increasingly cumbersome.

Version 10.0 of OfficeScan gives IT managers the option of moving a portion of the database to either an on-premise server or by using Trend Micro's internet-based cloud service.

The secret sauce is File Reputation, a part of Trend's Smart Protection Network that provides real-time sniffing of data for Windows-based servers and desktops. The client queries the remote database on the safety of the file before a user can open it - theoretically shortening the time between discovery of a virus and protection arriving at the computer. Of course, for safety's sake, the files being checked don't leave the system.

The downside, of course, would be that if the network or internet isn't available, files can't be scanned against the central database. And for those not keen on the Trend's new scanning strategy, the new version of OfficeScan still offers the old client-side way of doing things.

OfficeScan 10 should hit in May at about $20 per user for 1,001 systems and up.

Trend Micro is putting its head together with systems management vendor BigFix for its new Trend Micro Endpoint Security Platform, which ties the two vendors' specialties into a single agent.

Basically, it's a unified vulnerability management and security configuration software suite with a handful of specific platform modules ready to be plugged in.

According to Trend, the Endpoint Security Platform supports up to 250,000 users on one management server. The current release supports three modules that are available now, and one that's coming down the pipe in a couple months.

The Web Protection Module add-on uses Trend's aforementioned internet-based Smart Protection Network for up-to-date reputation-based protection against malicious websites.

The Core Protection Module is basically Trend's cloud-based malware scanning software that can be switched on for the Endpoint Security Platform.

The Patch Management Module centralizes patch capabilities for Windows, Apple, Linux and Unix operating systems and a variety of applications.

Coming in June is the Data Leak Prevention Module, which monitors things like email, webmail, USB, instant messaging and FTP to help prevent customer and employee data and company intellectual property from leaking out. The tech behind it comes from Trend's purchase of Provilla back in October 2007. ®

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