Mobile Armor buy brings Trend Micro into endpoint encryption

Trend Micro Monday announced plans to purchase Mobile Armor, extending its data protection product portfolio to include endpoint encryption.

The deal extends Trend Micro’s encryption reach, giving it encryption across cloud-based applications, e-mail, and now laptops, desktops and even USB sticks, said Ian Gordon, director of marketing and channels at Trend Micro Canada.

The need for encryption is particularly strong as companies move to the cloud, Gordon said, and Trend Micro has been focused on cloud security for some time now.

In August, the company launched SecureCloud, a hosted key management and data encryption that aims to protect data stored on public infrastructure cloud providers. Around the same time, it announced further connections with VMware to bolster its virtualization security strategy. The company also offers encryption for e-mail at the client, gateway and host levels.

The implications of moving to the cloud include customers being able to use a variety of devices to access information, and that means that encrypting the connections those cloud-based apps make with various endpoint devices is all the more important, Gordon said.

“We believe that since you can’t really control the endpoint, you have to have protection there,” he said. “We really believe in the need for this kind of technology as people move from the current infrastructure to a cloud-based infrastructure.”

The company’s channel partners have already been informed of the Mobile Armor purchase, and have been told to expect more details as the deal closes. Although Mobile Armor hasn’t been active in the Canadian market, Gordon expects them to be rapidly picked up by Canadian channel partners.

“I want to hit the ground running in the new year,” he said. “There will be lots of activity as we get ramped up and enable partners to put [Mobile Armor] into the Canadian channel.”

Gordon said he doesn’t expect it to take long for channel partners to get ramped up on Mobile Armor’s technology even if they haven’t offered endpoint encryption in the past. He expects a broad swath of the company’s Canadian channel partners to add the Mobile Armor technology to their offerings very quickly.

“it’s a great complement to our existing endpoint strategy and a natural piece to add,” he said.

In fact, part of the company’s motivation for making the deal is feedback from channel partners indicating demand for endpoint encryption in the market, particularly in verticals like healthcare and retail, Gordon said.

Despite a lack of presence in the Canadian market to date, Mobile Armor has a significant presence in the U.S. Federal Government marketplace, Gordon said, meaning it has “the right certifications” to get on the Canadian government’s lists of approved solutions.

Terms of the deal for St. Louis-based Mobile Armor were not disclosed. However, as it is a privately held company, partners won’t have to wait long to see Mobile Armor products appearing on Trend Micro’s products list – the deal is expected to close before the end of 2010.

After the acquisition closes, Gordon said the company will work on integrating the Mobile Armor technology into its own product lineup, particularly its central management console.