Ask a security professional in North America to describe Trend Micro and you will likely hear about antivirus software and a grouping of vendors that also includes McAfee and Symantec. Funny, but you’d get a completely different answer if you asked the same question in Brazil, Germany, or Japan. In these geographies, you’d hear about a billion dollar-plus enterprise-class security leader with a full portfolio of products, partnerships, and managed services.
Why the disconnect? Trend is an Asian company that hasn’t pushed too hard into the North American market until recently (other than the consumer sector). Furthermore, Trend isn’t known for guerilla marketing tactics, cybersecurity exposés, or expensive marketing campaigns at Black Hat and RSA.
In fact, Trend is really the antithesis of today’s boastful Sand Hill Road-funded startups. Rather than hype, the company tends to let its resources and security offerings do its talking. Unfortunately, too many people dismiss this “aw-shucks” image and still equate Trend with AV software alone.
I spent a few days with Trend Micro last week myself and the company looks like an enterprise security leader to me. Trend Micro is one of a handful of infosec vendors offering:
- An integrated product portfolio. Trend’s endpoint security software, advanced threat protection (ATP), e-mail, web security, and DLP can all work together as layers of defenses and for policy enforcement. Trend is also working on central management for everything as well.
- Security that extends to the cloud. Trend is working with Amazon, Microsoft, VMware, and others to extend on-premises security to the cloud. This eliminates the need for redundant security tools and operations.
- All the elements needed to build an advanced threat detection/prevention architecture. This is an area where Trend should get way more market attention. It already has the network gateways, endpoint forensics, cloud services, and threat intelligence working together. Enterprises can deploy a piecemeal solution or gobble up the whole enchilada.
- A history of security innovation. Several years ago, Trend Micro was one of the first vendors to integrate its “smart protection network” (i.e., cloud-based threat intelligence) with its host-based security software. Trend also took a lead on VMware integration and is now doing the same thing with cloud security. Trend continually gets it.
Trend is also pretty savvy when it comes to filling the holes in its portfolio. For example, Trend offers some security analytics but it also created a Splunk-based application for customers that want more. Trend isn’t in the network security game but it works with HP (TippingPoint) and IBM to bridge this gap as well. Aside from security technologies, Trend also has a stable of other partners at the local and global level that can augment its offerings and build industry-centric security solutions for organizations large and small.
Here in North America, we are more and more enamored with the 7 by 24 hour news cycle, social media, and show business glitz. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the recent U.S. mid-term elections cost nearly $4 billion according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Other security vendors will continue to out-spend Trend on marketing promotion or come up with slick rhetoric on the latest security point product threat Du Jour.
Americans and Canadians may love marketing buzz and new shiny objects, but we are talking about cybersecurity here, people – not fashion, food, or political candidates. Yes, we all want to drive the coolest, fastest, sexiest cars but we are a lot more cerebral about things like health care choices.
Trend Micro has one of the strongest portfolios going in cybersecurity – a technology analogue to health care or public safety. As such, responsible security professionals should make sure to cut through all the marketing hype, consider the seriousness of their decisions, and kick Trend Micro’s tires at the very least.