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Trend Micro Introduces Custom Defense Against APTs and Targeted Attacks

Unique Solution Delivers Adaptive Protection and Empowers Customers to Fight Back Against Their Attackers

CUPERTINO, Calif., Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), is introducing "Custom Defense" – the industry's first advanced threat protection solution that enables businesses and government agencies not only to detect and analyze advanced persistent threats (APTs) and targeted attacks, but also to rapidly adapt their protection and respond to these attacks. Custom Defense integrates software, global threat intelligence, and specialized tools and services to deliver a comprehensive solution for customers.

Today's most damaging attacks are those targeted specifically at an organization – its people, its systems, its vulnerabilities, and its data. Stealthier and more sophisticated than ever, cybercriminals use clever social engineering techniques like spear phishing to quietly penetrate select organizations, deploying customized malware that can live undetected for months within an organization. Cybercriminals can remotely and covertly steal an organization's valuable information – from credit card data to the more lucrative intellectual property or government secrets – potentially destroying an organization's competitive advantage, or in the case of government even putting national security at risk.

While many organizations feel that they have been targeted, 67 percent admit that their current security activities are insufficient to stop a targeted attack.1 Not surprisingly, 55 percent are not even aware of intrusions2, and fewer know the extent of the attack or who exactly is behind it. While necessary to thwart the majority of today's attacks, standard defenses have proven insufficient to handle APTs and targeted attacks; a custom attack requires a custom defense. Trend Micro's Custom Defense solution enables a complete Detect – Analyze – Adapt – Respond lifecycle.  Custom Defense goes beyond the ability to just detect and analyze targeted attacks by blocking and shutting them down before the real damage occurs. This comprehensive solution also delivers custom insight about the specific threat and cybercriminals involved, empowering organizations with the information they need to fight back against their attackers.

The Custom Defense – How It Works


At the heart of the Custom Defense solution is a specialized threat protection platform that performs network-wide monitoring to detect zero-day malware, malicious communications and attacker behaviors that are invisible to standard security defenses. Uniquely integrated with control points across the network, the solution can detect and block attacks occurring via corporate and personal email, social media applications, mobile devices and more. It can also detect and block malware communications back to the cybercriminal, or attempts to move laterally to other valuable systems within the network. Unlike competitive offerings that use generic 'sandboxes' in the hope that one will trigger and detect the attack, the Custom Defense solution allows for multiple, customer-defined sandboxes that better reflect their real-life environment and allow them to determine whether they have been breached. The Custom Defense sandbox detonates suspect code in a safe, controlled environment that can be optimized for performance and to evade hacker techniques that are on the lookout for sandboxing solutions.


Upon detection, the Custom Defense solution best enables organizations to profile in depth the risk, origin and characteristics of the attack, and uniquely delivers actionable intelligence that guides the organization on how to contain and remediate the attack. To aid in the threat investigation, this solution offers a customized view of threat intelligence that is specific to the organization's environment, and offers the ability to tap into the power of a global, cloud-based threat intelligence network.


To immediately adapt and strengthen protection against further attacks, the Custom Defense solution helps customers create custom responses to these targeted attacks, such as IP blacklists, custom spear phishing protection, and coming soon, custom signatures -- all specific to each attack.  The solution automatically updates the global threat intelligence network and issues these custom security updates to Trend Micro gateway, endpoint and server enforcement points. Built using an open and extensible platform, the solution can also send security updates to non-Trend Micro security products that may already be an important part of an organization's defense in-depth strategy.


Finally, the solution delivers 360-degree contextual visibility of the attack, arming the organization with the insight needed to respond to their specific attackers. The solution can deliver insight such as what information is being targeted, how the attack works, who the attacker is, and perhaps most importantly, who is actually sponsoring the attack. How the organization responds depends on its own situation, and could be as simple as evasive action to make it difficult for the attacker to continue, but could also include public exposure of the attacker to discredit him or her in the cyber community, or even legal action against the attacker and sponsor.

The Custom Defense – Key Components

As part of this announcement, Trend Micro is revealing enhancements to critical software components, its threat intelligence, as well as the availability of specialized tools and services – all of which are necessary for providing a complete custom defense.

Deep Discovery

Trend Micro Deep Discovery uniquely detects and identifies evasive threats in real-time, and provides the in-depth analysis and relevant actionable intelligence found at the heart of the Custom Defense solution. It has been enhanced to meet the growing demands of large enterprises and governments:

  • Open: Delivers highly scalable, customer-defined sandboxing analysis that can be leveraged by other products
  • Automated: Automatically shares IP/Domain blacklists with Trend Micro and third party products
  • Scalable: Supports incremental capacity ranges up to 50,000 samples/day
  • Lower TCO: Offers multiple form factors with the ability to start simply with a single device to monitor all network traffic types
  • Infrastructure fit: Breadth of attack detection goes beyond Microsoft-targeting malware and identifies lateral movement, cross-port activity and privilege escalation

Messaging Security

As part of the Custom Defense solution and for better protection across the network, Trend Micro is the first to integrate advanced threat detection capabilities into its mail gateway and server security products. Trend Micro™ ScanMail™Suite for Microsoft® Exchange™, Trend Micro™ ScanMail™ Suite for IBM® Lotus® Domino™, and Trend Micro™ InterScan™ Messaging Security have been integrated with Deep Discovery to send suspicious files for sandbox analysis and detection of previously unknown malware. In addition, these products feature a new exploit detection engine that identifies email attachments that contain exploits for vulnerabilities in major Adobe, Microsoft Office and other programs and blocks or quarantines them, furthering the level of protection provided.

Other Trend Micro Enterprise Security Products

All Trend Micro protection products will integrate more tightly with the adaptive updates of Deep Discovery. Additional product integrations are planned and will be announced at a later date.

Smart Protection Network and Threat Connect

The Trend Micro Smart Protection Network cloud security infrastructure rapidly and accurately identifies new threats, delivering global threat intelligence to secure data wherever it resides. It looks in more places for threat data, and uses big data analytics to deliver actionable threat intelligence across mobile, physical, virtual and cloud environments.

The Threat Connect information portal is accessible via Deep Discovery. It has been enhanced to provide the full breadth of relevant Trend Micro threat intelligence about specific threats – aiding in the rapid assessment, containment and remediation of an attack.

Attack Response Tools and Services

For years, Trend Micro has been helping its customers effectively identify and remediate targeted cyber-attacks with tools and services that enable Trend Micro support engineers to discover and analyze advanced threats in mail stores and network traffic, as well as for searching log files for traces of attack activity.  Proven effective for incident response and forensics, these tools are now being made available to the Trend Micro partner ecosystem, including, value-added resellers and service providers. 



"Custom Defense is not just a step forward—it is a big leap forward. With the new 'sand box' capability of Deep Discovery we can evaluate a suspicious java applet or code snippet and make the right decision. After all, it is not always the broad-scale threats that represent the biggest danger to our business. Today, it could be a targeted attack—a piece of code crafted just to get at our data. Trend Micro Custom Defense gives us a line of defense against targeted attacks. We can now shut them down quickly."

- Andrew McCullough, Lead Information Security Architect, IT 
  G6 Hospitality (Motel 6 and Studio 6), Dallas, Texas  

"I can't say enough good things about this product—it's doing an awesome job in our environment. We are just getting started with Deep Discovery and we expect that long-term it will yield even more benefits for us. Right now, it is helping us respond more quickly to incidents. It is telling us all kinds of things we would never have known if not for this tool."

- Manager, Desktop Security
Large U.S. Manufacturing Company

"Trend Micro has a great track record of performance and innovation in protecting our clients assets, and the addition of Custom Defense raises the bar higher by shortening the critical window of exposure between threat identification and response."

- Dan Wilson, Senior Vice President of Partner Alliances, Accuvant


"Our research indicates that the majority of enterprise security professionals believe that it is 'highly likely' or 'somewhat likely' that their organization has been the target of an APT. Risks can no longer be ignored or addressed with token changes to the status quo; instead, response must be immediate and adaptive. An effective approach is with network-based security monitoring designed to detect and analyze attack activity in real-time. Trend Micro is one of few vendors whose solutions fit this description; with the Custom Defense, it is enhancing its capabilities in attack detection and intelligence." 

- Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst
Enterprise Strategy Group


  1. The Human Factor in Data Protection, Ponemon Institute, January  2012
  2. Trend Micro research, 2012

Supporting materials:

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About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers. A pioneer in server security with over 20 years' experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits customers' and partners' needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro Smart Protection Network cloud computing security infrastructure, Trend Micro's products and services stop threats where they emerge – from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe. 

Additional information about Trend Micro Incorporated and its products and services are available at Trend Micro.com. This Trend Micro news release and other announcements are available at http://NewsRoom.TrendMicro.com and as part of an RSS feed at www.trendmicro.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicro.

SOURCE Trend Micro Incorporated

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