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Trend Micro Unveils “Cross-Generational” Approach to Endpoint Security

Called XGen endpoint security, the new offering layers traditional and advanced technologies, including machine learning, to provide defense in depth against known and zero day exploits. By Rich Freeman

Trend Micro Inc., of Irving, Texas, has introduced a new, “cross-generational” approach to endpoint security that seeks to protect devices from ransomware and other threats more efficiently and effectively by combining traditional defensive techniques with newer, more advanced ones in carefully orchestrated sequences.

Kevin SimzerCalled XGen endpoint security and available immediately, the new architecture reflects a security landscape in which increasingly sophisticated exploits arrive far too fast and often for any one form of protection to handle, according to Kevin Simzer (pictured), Trend Micro’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. Indeed, according to research published in August, Trend Micro detected nearly 80 million ransomware threats and 79 new ransomware families in the first half of 2016 alone.

“We fundamentally believe that you need to have some layered security defense mechanisms,” Simzer says.

XGen’s outer layers are familiar tools like blacklisting and email reputation analysis that quickly filter out known threats while minimally impacting application performance.

“Then we allow our more advanced techniques to really, really focus in on the areas that we think are suspicious,” Simzer says.

Those advanced techniques, which are designed to protect against new and therefore unknown attacks that older tools are likely to miss, include application control, exploit prevention, and behavioral analysis. In addition, new machine learning technology draws on real-time threat intelligence from across Trend Micro’s global customer base to block newly-hatched threats before they can unleash malicious payloads.

“We have around 155 million endpoints that are out there across the globe, so we have a lot of visibility into what’s going on,” Simzer states.

Like many of XGen’s new defenses, those machine learning capabilities draw on assets and expertise Trend Micro acquired a year ago when it purchased security vendor TippingPoint from the company then known as Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at roughly $300 million.

XGen is a core set of underlying technologies rather than a new security solution. Trend Micro plans to add it gradually to a wide range of its existing products, beginning with its OfficeScan endpoint protection offering. A new release of that system featuring XGen became available today. XGen-equipped editions of Trend Micro’s network defense and hybrid cloud security platforms will arrive during 2017.

XGen-bearing solutions are available as both stand-alone products or as components of Trend Micro’s Smart Protection Suites, which integrate endpoint, email, and web gateway security technologies. According to Simzer, most businesses would rather buy bundled solutions from one vendor than mix and match systems from multiple providers.

“What we tend to hear from our customers is they would prefer not to have best-of-breed. What they would prefer to do is actually have a reduced number of vendors that they’re dealing with,” he says.

Existing OfficeScan users can download and install the new, XGen release of that product immediately at no additional charge.