Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services review

Trend Micro makes a compelling argument for moving your endpoint security into the cloud

Price
£316
  • Good value; Simple deployment; Well-designed web portal; Impressive performance
  • Basic iOS device protection; Minimal email security

Cloud endpoint protection services have a lot to offer SMBs as they cost a lot less than on-premises solutions, don't require any dedicated hardware and, from our experiences, are much easier to manage. Trend Micro goes even further by claiming its Worry-Free Business Security Services (WFBSS) has zero administration overheads.

For the price, you're getting a reasonable range of security measures as WFBSS offers anti-malware and anti-spyware scanning, its web reputation services and URL filtering. It has limited email security features but does provide a client firewall should you need it and behavior monitoring which watches out for dubious app activities and blocks them.

Along with malware protection for Windows workstations and servers, WFBSS can apply controls to determine which users are permitted to access USB devices. Mobile device security sees significant improvements although Android devices get the lion's share of these.

Trend Micro's tidy cloud portal is easy to use and separates servers and workstations into their own groups

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Easy deployment

During testing we found the WFBSS cloud portal easy to use. It kept us posted on all client activity and opens with a handy live view threat status screen which uses a traffic light system to warn on areas such as malware alerts, web filtering violations and attack outbreaks.

Once registered, we received a link to a utility which downloaded the agent pre-configured for our account. Trend offers a login script and email services but we manually installed the agent on our test Windows systems which took 4-5 minutes for each one.

The agent chewed up 380MB of disk space but once it had loaded, it 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, approved and blocked web sites which override URL filtering polices and password protection to stop users disabling or removing the agent.

For client URL filtering, you can choose from three predefined policies or create your own

Groups and policies

We created separate groups for our 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's reputation service to classify and block suspect web pages.

Policies include URL filtering rules where we chose from 7 main topics offering a total of over 70 categories. Performance is excellent with few web sites 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.

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. The device controls are just as easy to use and we decided which groups were allowed to access USB devices.

Trend's web filtering performs well and we found the Windows workstation agent was very informative

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Limited mobile device security

Mac and Android agents don't get URL filtering but the real time scanner is supported along with Trend's web reputation service. Unfortunately, the only service available 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.

If you're looking for the best cloud managed mobile security we strongly recommend Sophos Cloud which offers a superb range of controls for iOS and Android devices. If you want to restrict access to the camera, screenshot commands and apps, apply passcode and complexity policies, decide what wireless networks users can connect to and issue remote lock or wipe commands then look no further.

For basic mail protection, the WFBSS agent can conduct real-time malware scans of incoming POP3 traffic. It can't block email attachments and there's nothing specific for Exchange servers other than a global policy setting to exclude its own system folders from anti-malware scans.

Notification options are good as you can ask for alerts to be issued for a wide range of security events

Good performance

The agent doesn't offer quick or deep scan options but it's very nifty with a full 72GB system disk scan on a dual E5-2400 Xeon Windows server taking only 44 minutes and consuming less than 3% CPU throughout. It's also a mean performer with it scoring perfect 100 per cent detection rates in both the AV-Test zero-day attack test and 20,000+ live malware sample. 

The portal doesn't hang around when issuing commands or receiving alerts either. Remote manual scan requests were acted on 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 5 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.

Overall

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Trend Micro's Worry-Free Business Security Services is comparatively good value and scores highly for ease of use. Security options for iOS devices are very basic but the cloud portal makes it a cinch to deploy and administer and it offers water-tight endpoint security services.

Verdict

Along with first-class endpoint protection, the well-designed cloud portal makes light work of administration. Mobile device security isn’t as good as Sophos Cloud but there’s little else to fault Trend Micro for making it a good choice for SMBs

Supported OS: Windows XP SP3 and Server 2003 SP1, Mac OS X 10.6, Android 2.3 upwards

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