Trend Micro Targets SMBs With New Web Solutions


Altogether, the latest version of the Worry Free solution, which was first launched four years ago, is specifically designed for SMBs that are increasingly dependent on the Web. Meanwhile, Trend Micro's SecureSite is a newly launched hosted service, offered to customers via subscription, and designed for e-commerce online retailers to protect their online shoppers from hacker exploits and identity theft.

Trend Micro executives say that the SMB offerings are the first in a series of upcoming releases aimed at protecting users from a maelstrom of new and sophisticated threats targeting the Web. The new realtime technology relies on Trend Micro's comprehensive database to scan, analyze and classify Web site reputation, malware behavior and spam sources.

For partners, Worry Free 5.0 and SecureSite offer opportunities to open up new conversations about Web security with their SMB customers, talks that were previously reserved for midtier customers on up.

"From a VAR perspective, we'll be able to offer our customers a deeper service," said Michelle Drolet, CEO of TowerWall (formerly ConQwest), based in Framington, Mass. "The hosted solution is something that Trend has never had before. We're now able to compete with the MessageLabs and the Postinis. It just gives a whole different breadth to their service."

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The new Worry Free solution offers different levels of security for SMB customers depending on their needs. The security Standard is designed for businesses incorporating PCs and requiring on-site management, while the advanced version offers the same protection with additional messaging protection.

For customers preferring remote management, the Worry Free Remote Manager is an "in the cloud" solution managed by partners via a single console. Both solutions offer location awareness and application behavior monitoring.

In addition to addressing traditional threats such as spyware, viruses, spam, phishing and evolving e-mail threats, version 5.0 is specifically targeted toward a mobile workforce, with protection for laptops. For example, the solution provides a location-awareness feature that automatically changes security settings on laptops depending on whether the user is in the office or working remotely.

One of the features that partners say resonate strongly with customers is data protection for critical information stored within QuickBooks applications with Intuit Protection, available in both the standard and advanced versions. Partners also say behavior monitoring and Web reputation components resonate strongly in the SMB space.

"These key components take a proactive approach to security," said Matt Chambers, systems engineers for Corporate IT Solutions, Walpole, Mass, who helped beta-test the new Worry Free releases. "[Customers] may choose to host only the antivirus and keep some of the associated administrative burden off of the internal IT staff."

And partners hope that those features will pay off with their SMB customers. Chambers said that in order to take on the product, his company will need to achieve margins somewhere between 30 percent and 40 percent. Drolet also said she anticipated a significant margin markup because of the service element that can be wrapped around the hosted solution.

That could come to pass, due to the fact that this kind of advanced protection has never been more necessary, partners say. New and sophisticated Web 2.0 threats are increasingly targeting and affecting small businesses, which don't always have the IT staff and budget to invest in expensive comprehensive solutions.

Unlike previous threats that infected machines only when users clicked an infected link or opened an attachment, users are increasingly becoming the victims of drive-by downloads even by visiting a legitimate Web site infused with malicious code, partners say.

"Our priority number one for the year is the design, implementation and management of security policies for our entire client base," said Chambers. "Many SMBs do not consider a security policy or the attack vectors until they are the victim of a threat."

"The whole malware threat that organizations are facing right now is not necessarily viruses, it's the ever-present bots and the malware that are getting into their systems and taking their identities," said Drolet. "With the Worry Free remote manager, we can take away their day-to-day operations and take it on for them."