Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services review
Trend Micro delivers first-class malware protection and its well-designed cloud portal makes light work of administration.
Trend Micro claims zero administration overheads for its Worry-Free Business Security Services and, to a large extent, it achieves this. It’s certainly easy to use. The well-designed cloud portal kept us posted on all client activity and opens with a handy live view threat status screen, with a traffic-light system warning on areas such as malware alerts, web filtering violations and attack outbreaks.
Once registered, we received a link to a utility that downloaded the agent pre-configured for our account. Trend Micro offers a login script and email services (these allow you to email the agent download link direct to the client system), but we manually installed the agent on our test Windows systems. This took 4-5 minutes for each one.
The agent chewed up 380MB of disk space but, once loaded, contacted the cloud server and took its settings from the portal’s default group for instant protection. Global settings apply to all policies and include malware scan settings, plus approved and blocked websites; the latter override URL-filtering polices. It’s also good to see password protection to stop users disabling the agent.
We created separate groups for Windows servers and desktops, each with custom policies. We fine-tuned malware scanning, enabled the client firewall, created custom rules for specific services and let the agent use Trend Micro’s reputation service to classify and block suspect web pages.
Policies include URL-filtering rules, where we chose from seven main topics offering a total of over 70 categories. Performance is excellent with very few websites slipping under its radar, and we could also decide whether filtering was active only in working hours and even relax our grip during lunch breaks.
Mac and Android agents don’t get URL filtering, but the real-time scanner is supported along with Trend Micro’s web reputation service. The only service for iOS devices is to enrol them with Apple’s push notification service, to enforce passcode usage, set expiration periods and apply auto-lock inactivity time-outs.
The Windows agent keeps an eye on system behaviour and can block dubious activities such as security policy modifications, new browser plug-in requests, auto-start registry changes and much more. You can control access to devices too; for example, we decided which groups were allowed to access USB drives.
For basic mail protection, the agent can conduct real-time malware scans of incoming POP3 traffic. There’s nothing specific for Exchange servers other than a global policy setting to exclude its own system folders from scans.
The agent doesn’t offer quick or deep scan options but it’s very nifty: a full 72GB system disk scan on our dual E5-2400 Xeon Windows server took only 44 minutes and consumed less than 3% CPU throughout. It’s also a strong performer, scoring perfect 100% detection rates in both the AV-Test zero-day attack test and 20,000+ live malware sample.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s perfect, though, with Dennis Technology Labs’ anti-virus testing showing that it sometimes attempts to protect against legitimate programs.
The portal doesn’t hang around when issuing commands or receiving alerts. It acted upon remote manual scan requests in under 4 minutes, while alerts for positive detections or excessive URL-filtering violations were posted in the live status screen and emailed to us in similar times.
Alerts can be customised to suit so we decided we wanted to know if five malware detections occurred within a 5-minute period and URL filter violations exceeded 100 per hour. Trend also offers its outbreak defence service, which responds to red alerts coming in from multiple businesses by posting an official pattern update within 45 minutes.
It’s not as good value as Panda’s Cloud Office Protection but there was little else we could fault Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Business Security Services for. The cloud portal makes it a cinch to administer and it offers water-tight endpoint security services.