August 30, 2011, 6:41 AM — Virtualization -- in particular Trend Micro's close alliance with VMware -- is bringing about a strategic shift in Trend's anti-malware business as its products become designed for use with VMware's vShield technology.
Corporate servers are rapidly becoming fully virtualized, with VMware the dominant virtualization software vendor, although Microsoft with Hyper-V and Citrix with Xen are also part of this transformation. However, traditional anti-malware sometimes doesn't work well in virtualized environments, causing so-called "A/V storms" of performance degradation during the scanning process. To address this, VMware has as part of its overarching vShield technology come up with an agentless approach to scan a server in VSphere. Trend Micro has been the first A/V vendor to show this can work.
BACKGROUND: Battle looms over securing virtualized systems
In its updated Deep Security 8.0, announced Tuesday, Trend adds agentless file-integrity checking as well in order to take a "snapshot" of a server to monitor changes. The new version also works with Trend's SecureCloud 2.0, its policy-based encryption key-management product aimed at encrypting data held in cloud computing environments, so that Deep Security and SecureCloud can share security status information.
For example, Deep Security can ensure any server requesting access to encrypted data has up-to-date protection before encryption keys are released, and in an integrity check, if a virtual machine is out-of-date or has been compromised, SecureCloud could flag this violation or block the VM's data access by denying the encryption key. Deep Security 8.0 supports vSphere 5.0 and vShield Manager 5, with vShield Endpoint Security API 2.0 (plus backward compatibility with vSphere 4.1 and vShield 1.0).
But there are still challenges associated in the agentless vShield approach, such as the fact Deep Security can't yet remove malware, just scan for it. In fact, Deep Security 8.0 is also available in agent-based form, with a Linux agent now available as well as a Windows-based agent.