Small and medium-sized organizations seeking cloud security should consider Trend Micro Worry-Free Business  Security Services. The software as a service solution offers web, virus, spyware and threat detection, prevention and monitoring  for PCs and servers.
Worry-Free Business Security Services v.3 supports Windows 7 and scales to support as many as 10,000 connected systems, making it a compelling option for growing organizations.
End users will like having a web console from which they can manage their settings and customize permissions, security scans and reports for both onsite and remote environments. The new Smart Protection Network (SPN) feature tracks website and file reputation credibility, gathers threat intelligence and ensures automatic real-time protection. Another benefit: Antimalware signatures now reside in the cloud instead of on the client system, significantly reducing the processing burden of performing a scan.
A user-configurable module provides behavior monitoring and thwarts unapproved changes to the system that could be precipitated by bots or other malware. End users are also protected from auto-run executable threats. Another handy customizable feature is that CPU consumption is adjustable; if usage exceeds the designated threshold, the scan will be paused.
The SaaS architecture consists primarily of three components: the server, which is hosted by Trend Micro in its data center; the web console; and the Client/Server Security Agents (CSAs) that are installed on each client. Having a centrally managed server takes the sting out of paying for an onsite server to house security, and it reduces maintenance costs.
The Worry-Free Business Security Services web management console proves to be simple and easy to navigate. Security administrators can manage clients as groups; and status information for threats, security incidents, system updates and license status are all easily monitored. Scan execution can be configured as either real-time, manual or scheduled, and subsequent reports are created in PDF format. The Worry-Free Remote Manager enables management of multiple clients running the security solution.
The CSAs report back to the server with the latest client data in real time. Agents play two roles in WFBS: They are either “Active” or “Inactive.” The Active Agent functions as the communicator between the server and all other agents in the organization. Inactive Agents are defined as all other agents. This structure helps prevent overutilization of system resources.
Because this is an online service, system requirements are minimal. The Trend Micro solution requires Internet Explorer 6 or higher, as well as Adobe Acrobat 8 to read the PDF reports. The CSAs require 256 megabytes of memory and 300MB of disk space running on either a Pentium x86 or compatible processor; or an x64 processor supporting AMD64 and Intel 64 technologies.
Organizations can either purchase the solution for a year or run a trial version that expires after 60 days. Download and installation on Windows Server 2008 R2 went smoothly.
Additional features are offered with two other WFBS editions: Standard and Advanced. The Standard edition includes location awareness. The Advanced edition adds e-mail message content filtering, Internet Message Access Protocol antispam, attachment blocking, e-mail reputation and Exchange 2007 support.
There are trade-offs to be weighed between the SaaS version, which doesn’t require a server, and the other solutions, which require an onsite server but offer more robust features.
Alyson Behr has more than 15 years of experience writing about technology and has been a contributing editor for leading product-testing labs.