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Trend Micro updates Smart Protection Network, adds four capabilities

Trend Micro adds to its cloud-based security technology, but one expert says the additions haven't put it ahead of the competition.

Trend Micro Inc. recently updated its Smart Protection Network, a cloud-based security infrastructure used to identify new threats and provide threat intelligence to the company's products and services.

The Trend Micro updates to the Smart Protection Network are whitelisting, rules for vulnerabilities and exploits, mobile application reputation, and network traffic intelligence. Tom Kellerman, vice president of cyber security at Cupertino, Calif.-based Trend Micro, said the new capabilities were essential to keeping up with cybercriminals.

"We're invested in sending our brain to college," said Kellerman, referring to the network.

Unveiled in 2008, the Smart Protection Network uses big data analytics to protect against and prevent security threats. Trend Micro collects more than six terabytes of information a day, according to Kellerman. After noticing certain trends in security breaches through this information, the firm introduced the four new elements to the network. They have been written into the rules of Trend Micro products so that they react instantly to a threat, he said. "We want to stop [attacks] at the source," he added.

Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., said Trend Micro's additions should help its customers. "They're using intelligence-gathering techniques to provide customers with more [security]," he said.

Through whitelisting, the Smart Protection Network designates which sites are trusted, Kellerman said. Similarly, the mobile application reputation update grades and rates applications based on malicious activity. Rules for vulnerabilities and exploits identify the areas cybercriminals are focusing on, and network traffic intelligence gathers information about global malware.

Trend Micro has been one of the leaders in cloud security, Oltsik said, adding that other companies are taking similar actions, such as using scoring and risks to rate new technology, capturing malicious code, and assessing the reputation of IP addresses. The firm has not made a considerable gain over its competitors with the updates to the Smart Protection Network.

"The methodology and services are fairly similar [to those of other firms,]" Oltsik said. The update to the Smart Protection Network uses resources Trend Micro already had, but it's now being applied to products and broken down for customers, he said.

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