In a bid to display its suitability for consumer users,antivirus giant Trend Micro has announced it will provideantivirus scanning and cleaning protection forMicrosoft’s MSN Hotmail Internet e-mail customers, whonumber nearly 190 million. Such services had been provided by McAfee.
Trend Micro, based in Japan with U.S. headquartersin Cupertino, California, said the Hotmail users willreceive automatic Trend Micro scanning and detectionof viruses and worms when sending and receiving theire-mail attachments.
The announcement signals the continuingconsolidation of security and other software providers, who arelooking to provide comprehensive defenses. It also marks the growing trend toward theaddition of antivirus, antispam and other securitytechnology as standard offerings with Internetservices.
Warming to US Consumers
While Trend Micro is known in North America mostly forits enterprise presence — IDC recently said thecompany was the top gateway server antivirus provider– it is also trying to increase itsconsumer profile in the U.S., according to PunitMinocha, the company’s senior director of businessdevelopment.
Minocha told TechNewsWorld that while the companyhas had a commanding presence in the Japanese consumermarket, it has not invested in selling to U.S.consumers.
“That’s changed over the last few months,” he said.”This announcement does allow us to do a number ofthings in the consumer market.”
AV for Free
Minocha said Trend Micro sees its servicesbecoming increasingly integrated with other securitysoftware, such as antispyware, as well as integrated withservice offerings.
“The threats will change, but we do see a serviceelement emerging,” Minocha said.
Director ofMSN Communication Services Phil Holden said the dealwould better protect Hotmail users at no additionalcost.
“We see this offering as important in helpingprotect our Hotmail customers while also guardingmembers of the overall Hotmail community and thefriends and family they e-mail,” Holden said in astatement.
Defending the Masses
Trend Micro, which competes mostly with AVproviders McAfee and Symantec, has won industry praiseand market share with its “PC-cillin” security softwareand also offers its Housecall online antivirusscanning service.
Ken Dunham, iDefense director of malicious code intelligence, said the Hotmail deal was part of anongoing trend whereby security components are comingtogether and providers are offering protection as astandard feature.
“What you’re seeing now is a wide variety of ISPsand other companies with services are offering thisstuff for free,” Dunham said. “It’s changing thesecurity landscape as we know it.”
Dunham said that despite the default defenses and add-onsecurity features providers are giving to customers,enterprises in particular need to remain diligentabout securing network and computer resources.Nevertheless, Dunham said the Trend Micro andsimilar consumer protection IT deals are alleviatingthe security strain on everyday users.
“We’ve needed AV for the masses for a long time,”Dunham said.