Dell, Trend Micro Partner on Small Biz Security

Thursday Sep 23rd 2010 by Stuart J. Johnston
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Small businesses often lack an IT staff and the proper security for their PCs and laptops. By partnering with Trend Micro, Dell hopes to change that and tap an underserved market at the same time.

Computing giant Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) announced a deal this month whereby it will sell PCs to small and medium-sized businesses pre-installed with a 30-day license for Trend Micro's cloud-hosted Worry Free Business Security (WFBS) Services, along with the option of adding more licenses incrementally.

The move is part of Dell's ongoing strategy to provide SMBs with increased security protection.

"Security is the number one pain point for our small business customers. They lack the resources to deal with it," Paulette Altmaier, Dell's vice president for SMB Solutions, told Small Business Computing. "For really small businesses, it [WFBS] might be their only layer of protection, other than a firewall," she added.

WFBS provides hosted endpoint security -- even if the business has no server -- on a per license basis, through an expansion of Dell's existing relationship with Trend Micro, according to Dell documents. Besides PCs and laptops, WFBS also protects file servers and USB cards.

WFBS also features a simplified, web-based management console that has been designed for use by small businesses that don't have an IT person.

"With customers' evolving security needs in mind, Dell and Trend Micro worked closely to develop a customized user interface, simplifying the management process for business owners and IT administrators when it comes to endpoint security," a Dell spokesperson told Small Business Computing.

The web-based management console provides the administrator access on an "anytime and anywhere" basis. New PCs come with the software pre-configured.

WFBS-protected clients automatically receive anti-virus and anti-malware subscription updates, even with workers on the road.

"Cloud-based security is important for mobile users ... a lot of the processing is done in the cloud so it doesn't slow down your laptop," Altmaier said.

The service provides data protection as well, locking down critical data. WFBS also integrates with Intuit QuickBooks, the company documents said.

Smart Protection Network

At the heart of WFBS is Trend Micro's Smart Protection Network."Antivirus and threat scans are processed in the Smart Protection Network with little impact to system performance," the documents add.

However, besides doing scans and sending out virus and malware definition updates, the Smart Protection Network provides a broader service.

"The Trend Micro Smart Protection Network infrastructure delivers advanced protection from the cloud, blocking threats in real-time before they reach you," Trend Micro's site said. "Leveraging a unique, cloud-client architecture, it is powered by a global network of threat intelligence sensors, e-mail, Web, and file reputation technologies that work together to dramatically reduce infections," it continued.

Warren Brown, founder and owner of Cake Love, a chain of six bakeries and one café in the greater Washington D.C. metro area, is in the process of rolling out WFBS.

"The whole collaboration [with Dell and Trend Micro] has been good ... we're working on a slow rollout, putting these into each one of my bakeries," Brown said. "Some equipment has been deployed, and we'll be doing the final rollout in the next month. It should be wrapped up by Halloween," he added. Brown's happy with the system so far.

"The Trend Micro stuff has definitely been keeping things out [of the bakeries' computers]," Brown, who left a job as a litigation attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to start Cake Love in 2002, told Small Business Computing.

"Security of my customer information and company data constantly weighs on my mind, but routine maintenance eats up time that could be better used running my business," Brown said in a statement.

"When something goes wrong employees can’t get their jobs done, customers can’t get services, orders can’t be processed and supplies can’t be ordered. The Dell and Trend Micro solution automates the process and gives me piece of mind, as I know we’re protected,” Brown added.

Customers purchasing new Dell hardware with the WFBS option get the first 30 days of service at no additional cost. Beyond that, a 15-month subscription costs an additional $39, and a 24-month subscription costs $59, while a 36-month subscription costs $69.

Additionally, customers can get additional licenses to protect existing systems. For example, three licenses (one of them pre-installed on a new computer) with 15 months of service cost $93.

Similarly, six licenses, also with one pre-installed, cost $186 for 15 months. Meanwhile, 11 licenses, with one pre-installed and 10 additional licenses for 15 months cost $341.

"Dell has gone out into the market on behalf of our customers and assessed the best approach to security -- we've put a comprehensive security solution into place by integrating best-of-breed products with both Dell's own products and technology as well as components from strategic partners including Trend Micro's Worry-Free Business Security Services," Dell's Altmaier said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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