As a Product Marketing Manager for Trend Micro™ Worry-Free™ Business Security Services, I hear a lot of objections about the product, and in particular, a lot of cloud-related fears. Some examples of things I hear from customers and partners are:
“I wouldn’t be secure if my Internet connection went down.”
“I don’t want to put all my data in the cloud.”
“I don’t want to waste all my bandwidth, uploading everything to the cloud to be scanned.”
The cloud is becoming better understood by the average person these days, thanks to companies like Google, Apple, Netflix, and other consumer-oriented companies that have spent a lot of marketing dollars. They are helping their customers understand cloud-related products, and how those products are delivered. Fortunately, this knowledge spills over nicely to small business owners and employees who are consumers of these cloud-based services at home.
I don’t want to get in to a deep technical explanation, but for the purposes of this article, it will help you to understand the architecture of Worry-Free Business Security Services. It is an endpoint security solution, purpose built for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to protect you and your data on these three types of devices: Windows, Mac, and Android. There are two components that make up this solution.
The first component is what I call the management console. It is what you would use as an administrator to manage the product, configure policies, review log files, run reports, and do any day-to-day tasks related to the product. The management console physically resides in a highly-secure Trend Micro data center.
The second component is called the client. It is what gets installed on each device (Windows, Mac, Android) and is responsible for providing the actual protection of the device. This component handles the scanning of files, blocking of malware found, and reporting of results to the management console.
Now that you understand the architecture, it should be pretty easy to see why this objection is not a valid one. Logically speaking, if all the security is provided by the client that resides physically on the device, how can you possibly be less secure without an Internet connection? The answer is, you aren’t less secure. Everything the product needs to protect your device is on the device, no Internet connection required.
Since the management console is physically located in the cloud, there is a minimal amount of information residing in the cloud. So on the surface this may seem like a valid objection, depending on how you define “all my data.” The only information that does get saved in the cloud is log data generated by the client, and any additional comments/notes added to the console by you, the administrator.
The product does not copy any of your existing items, such as documents, spreadsheets, files, etc. and move them to the cloud. Bottom line, none of your stuff is moved to the cloud. We only store data about detected malware such as time stamp, computer name, virus name, and other relevant metadata in the cloud.
Going back to the architecture discussion, I mentioned that all of the protection is provided by the second component, the client, which is physically located on the device. All the scanning, analyzing, and remediation are done on the device so this objection is not valid.
The product does have some innovative technologies such as Smart Scan that leverages updates delivered from the cloud. However, ironically, these features actually result in less bandwidth utilization, not more. Files that are being scanned never leave the device and are never uploaded anywhere, including the cloud.
In summary, there is really no reason to be scared of the cloud as it relates to a security solution like Worry-Free Business Security Services. It does not depend on an active Internet connection to provide maximum security, nor is your data “taken” from you and stored in the cloud. And it doesn’t shuttle your files out to the cloud and back to scan them because it is all done locally.