Trend Micro purchase boosts data protection

Trend Micro is extending its data protection capabilities with the acquisition of Mobile Armor.

Trend Micro announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Mobile Armor -- a company that specializes in endpoint data protection. The move strengthens Trend Micro's data protection capabilities and positions it to address the growing concern of securing data on mobile devices that are easily lost or stolen.

All signs and trends point to increased mobility. Users commonly work from laptops at neighborhood coffee shops, or hotel lobbies, and tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming mainstream business tools for users on the go. By virtue of being portable, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are also easily lost or stolen and represent a significant threat to data security if not properly protected.

"Each year, hundreds of thousands of laptops, phones and removable media devices are estimated by various sources to go missing through loss or theft, to have their data copied without consent, and to be upgraded or exchanged without having their data removed," according to a recent Gartner report.

The Trend Micro press release explains, "Data protection is a growing concern for businesses. IDC assesses that the market for endpoint encryption is growing at an estimated 14 percent CAGR through 2014. State and national governments are enacting more stringent regulations such as the U.S. HITECH Act, the U.K. Data Protection Act, and the German Federal Data Protection Act. Together with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), such regulations are driving the need to encrypt sensitive information and protect privacy."

Mobile Armor provides data protection through full-disk, file and folder, and removable media encryption on endpoints and mobile devices. Merging the Mobile Armor capabilities with Trend Micro's existing security tools will give customers critical protection for laptops, tablets, and smartphones from a centrally-managed platform.

"This acquisition will expand our endpoint security market reach and will provide our customers with proven technology for encrypting data on laptops, tablet PCs, and smartphones. Mobile Armor's solutions further our vision of protecting digital information wherever it resides and complements our recent announcement of Trend Micro SecureCloud for securing and controlling data in the cloud," said Eva Chen, CEO, Trend Micro. "Mobile Armor's endpoint encryption suite will enhance our data protection portfolio for the cloud computing era."

The acquisition of Mobile Armor puts Trend Micro in the same league as rivals like Symantec -- which recently launched new tools aimed at securing mobile devices, and McAfee -- which acquired Trust Digital to extend its mobile security offerings, and which was acquired by Intel possibly to provide the intellectual property and expertise to incorporate security on mobile devices.

Mobile platforms continue to get smaller, and yet hold more and more data as technology evolves. IT admins need tools like those offered by Trend Micro and its competitors to ensure that sensitive data on those devices is protected no matter where they may go.

Tags firewallsnetwork securityapplicationssecuritytrend microsoftwaredata protection

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)

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