I recently attended Trend Micro’s Insight 2012 event for an update on corporate and product strategy from Trend executives, hear from partners and enterprise customers about their experiences working with Trend Micro, and sit down to 1:1's with business unit leaders. I met with Carol Carpenter, EVP of Consumer, who shared a bit about what Trend is doing for consumers and provided demos of their latest Android mobile apps out on the market and in development. Of the ones available now, they are the usual suspects – mobile security, backup and restore, and a password manager. And then, there’s a battery optimizer app. Random? No, not really.
Consumer security has come a long way from simply antivirus software for PCs. Mobile security is undoubtedly on everyone’s minds at this point (oh no! device loss, malware, my apps are spying on me!), but that’s only one factor (albeit a big one) contributing to the evolution of this consumer security market. We’re looking at protecting devices, data, identities, interactions, privacy, the consumer – in short, the online experience. That’s where the umbrella of consumer security expands, and I see apps like Trend’s battery optimizer fitting in. It’s not a “security” solution in the traditional sense, and more of a productivity tool. Consumers gain visibility into what the device and apps are doing (to the battery), and using that information to then make an informed decision (e.g., stop running that app, turn off Wi-Fi, etc) to preserve battery because it’s running too low for comfort.
From a vendor perspective, such solutions are not random one-off efforts and tie in to core elements of their business. In Trend’s case, the battery optimizer is hooked in to their Mobile App Reputation System (MARS), the engine behind Trend’s overall mobile strategy and lineup of apps.
I’ve been looking at emerging and niche solutions that fall under this wider umbrella of consumer security for an upcoming report. For example, services like BillGuard that use crowdsourced social intelligence to identify fraudulent charges on credit and debit card bills, and services like Gliph that allow users to send encrypted messages to other Gliph users and create disposal email addresses. Many emerging and niche consumer solutions still relate to security or privacy in some way, but I suspect we’ll see more pop up in the productivity category. Why? It ties back to consumer expectations when it comes to technology and devices today: a seamless and fast experience, customized to the consumer’s activities, plus the ability to maximize the use of their devices and services.
As an S&R pro in the enterprise and a security savvy consumer, what types of consumer security solutions, apps, or tools are you using for yourself and your family to protect and enhance your online experiences? Any “must have” items? I’d love to hear from you about the types of services and solutions that you use today.