Trend Micro upgrades Complete User Protection

Eric Skinner, vice president, solutions marketing, Trend Micro

Eric Skinner, vice president, solutions marketing, Trend Micro

Security software vendor Trend Micro has announced significant upgrades to the Trend Micro Complete User Protection solution.

“There are two key attributes to the announcement,” said Eric Skinner, vice president, solutions marketing, Trend Micro. “First, we are improving the protection capabilities of our solution set, and secondly, we are introducing more flexible management and licensing, with a unique blend of on-prem and SaaS licensing where the management and licensing are integrated.”

The Complete User Protection solution is targeted at mid-sized businesses in the 100-5000 seat zone, where the customer values a more integrated solution. Skinner said that even though the gradual transition to the cloud is part of the puzzle for IT security, and the evolving threat landscape means the approach has to be changed, customers still don’t want lots of consoles.

Complexity is also part of why many customers change security vendors.

“The channel pain is that between 15% and 25% of customers consider switching platforms at renewal time, and the number one reason for switching is that they feel they are not well protected,” Skinner said. “Traditional technology is signature-based. Vendor differentiation is unclear. Quoting desired options is time-consuming, because there are a lot of choices and suite structures are complex.”

Skinner said those customer views impacted a channel survey Trend did last fall.

“The number one priority for partners was ease of selling,” he said. “They want to be able to help the customer make the choice more easily, and want the choices to be less complex.”

The result is more flexible management and licensing

“The suites are simpler, with only two SKUs for the channel,” Skinner said. “These are Smart Protection for Endpoints, and Smart Protection Complete, which also includes gateways. They are competitively priced, so we aren’t boosting the cost to require special pricing.”

Central management has also been enhanced in a couple key ways.

“We now have the ability to manage SaaS and on-prem locations in one console, which is new and significant,” Skinner said. “We also now have user-centric visibility of threat incidents, where the threat visibility is visible on a timeline across all components in a system to see how it is breaking out.”

The new protection capabilities feature a new application control layer which adds category-based whitelisting and PC endpoint lockdown as an additional layer of protection against threats that evade signature-based defense.

“This important new layer is now able to block applications which are unknown or in certain undesirable categories,” Skinner said. “It can prevent new applications from being installed. You don’t have to know the app beforehand. Just being new is enough. There are lots of unknown applications Trend hasn’t seen before that you don’t want proliferating on your endpoints.”

Other new features are browser exploit detection, which protects against attacks directed at unpatched browser vulnerabilities, and a cloud-based secure Web gateway deployment, which can be either an alternative or complement to Trend Micro’s existing on-premise Web gateway

“The cloud-based web gateway is particularly useful for protecting remote employees without requiring a backhaul to the corporate network,” Skinner said.

Improved endpoint encryption capabilities include pre-boot authentication and management for Windows Bitlocker and MacOS FileVault native disk encryption.

The revamped Complete User Protection solution is scheduled to be available April 15.

“We are launching in test markets in the U.S. and then ramping up, but it will all happen in the second quarter,” Skinner said.

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