Norton isn't just the only antivirus company making waves with its new 2009 product line...
Japanese giant Trend Micro - now in its 20th year, no less - has this month rolled out brand spanking new versions of its flagship consumer products ('Internet Security' and 'Internet Security Pro') and far more than just raw speed is on the menu.
Yes speed is there. "Performance is taken as given," explained, Trend's EMEA E-Commerce Director Keith Reed to me in our briefing and it should be in spades with 40 per cent lower memory usage and a 50 per cent faster boot time compared to its already sprightly predecessor. That out the way, onto the really clever stuff...
The 'Smart Protection Network' is what drives the heart of the 2009 range which resides "in the cloud" (my predicted buzz phrase for 2008*) and this brings a key advantage. Web threats like malware are constantly evolving and a cloud-client security infrastructure can correlate and instantly compare them to vast cloud-held databases that would be impractical to hold on a single PC. The result is more reliable identification and potentially zero reaction time to protect against newly developed attacks because they can be automatically matched and neutralised by consulting existing threat profiles.
Also of note is a new customisable 'Security Activity Dashboard' which gives users a snapshot of all the security activities on their computer ('computers' in the case of a network) with easy to read charts and graphs. Enhanced parental controls are there too with the ability to control the date and time each child in a family can go onto the Internet as well as the restriction of specific information that can be sent from the computer - including home addresses, telephone numbers and passwords.
Quick scans also make a welcome appearance in the 2009 series and tie in with the rather clever 'State Aware' functionality: a feature which detects system activity and forbids scans during periods of high activity, such as when watching a video, conducting a presentation or playing games. Usefully, 128bit encryption can also be applied to keystrokes sent over the Web to combat key loggers.
Where Internet Security Pro differs from the standard edition is the addition of a system performance optimising suite and additional mobile functions including the ability to lock files remotely if a laptop is stolen. Pro also provides protection for smartphones with software to protect against the growing threats they face of viruses, SMS text message spam, malware attacks, data theft and service disruptions.
Both Trend Micro Internet Security Pro and Internet Security go on sale immediately for £54.95 and £49.95 respectively and each comes with licences for up to three computers.
*Incidentally, for those curious few, 'environmental' was my pick for 2007. For 2009? I'm toying with some people's premature choice for 2008: 'SSD'...