Security vendors look to web services

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Security vendors look to web services

Security vendors are turning to web-based services in an attempt to 'keep up with the bad guys'.

Security vendors are turning to web-based services in an attempt to 'keep up with the bad guys'.

McAfee and Trend Micro are touting so-called 'cloud' networks as the latest weapon in their ongoing battle with cyber-crime and security threats.

Both companies have constructed large web-based systems which allow users and researchers to keep a constantly updated record of potential security threats, and allow systems to check on the fly whether a piece of software poses a threat.

McAfee's Artemis system will connect to the cloud to receive updates and check suspicious code.

The company is currently making the network available for its Total Protection enterprise security package, and plans to extend the service to its other lines later this month.

Trend Micro's Smart Protection Network will likewise allow users to remotely access an ever-updated database of possible threats and check for emerging risks.

The Smart Protection Network is currently being offered as part of Trend Micro's Communication and Collaboration package for enterprise systems, although the company also plans to use it with future consumer releases.

The aim of the hosted networks is to get out of the so-called "reactionary" system in which vendors provide occasional updates to users.

As the daily flow of newly-discovered malware increases, such updates become larger and more frequent.

David Finger, messaging and security product marketing manager at Trend Micro, explained that it is becoming far too difficult for the old system to keep users, particularly large enterprises, constantly updated and protected.

"I think we all recognise that the process is too reactionary and takes too long," he told

Finger noted that the cloud system will not be the ultimate answer, and that the sheer number of checks each system requires makes a locally-stored library necessary to avoid overwhelming the database.

As such, the end-user updates will continue as a less frequent "general" update, he said.

However, Finger is convinced that a new approach is vital to keep pace with the ever-growing crop of threats in the computing world.

"We have to stop being reactionary," he said. "Otherwise, we are always going to be behind."
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