Trend Micro Web Reputation Review

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    After using trend Micro’s Web Reputation service for a few months, I figured it’s time for a review. Trend Micro Web Reputation comes with Trend Micro’s OfficeScan product, but I don’t want to review the whole of the Trend Micro OfficeScan product in this article, just the Web Reputation aspect of it. However, I will start by saying that Trend Micro OfficeScan is probably my favourite corporate antivirus solution. That being said, on to the review of Trend Micro Web Reputation.

    Trend Micro Web Reputation is a centrally managed (through a web interface), client based (it uses the antivirus client), content filter… Sort of… Typically a web content filter would enable an administrator to block particular categories of web site (URLs) or aspects of websites relaying data from another URL (such as an advert server). Trend Micro Web Reputation doesn’t give this option, it just gives you the option to block “dangerous websites”, untested websites or no blocking at all. There is some granularity in the “dangerous websites” category, but it’s unclear to me at the moment as to why you wouldn’t just select the option to block all dangerous sites within this group – which is what I’ve been doing. Therefore Trend Micro Web Reputation is not an internet content filter. If you’re looking for a granular content filter, Trend Micro Web Reputation is not for you.

    Now that I’ve given a run down of what Trend Micro Web Reputation is, here are some of the key aspects of Trend Micro Web Reputation that I’d like to include in my review:

    You can do a blacklist or whitelist approach to blocking websites. Whitelists are great if you want to block pretty much all web usage except for a select group of websites. Blacklists are good if you want to block a few other specific websites other than those that Trend Micro have identified as unsafe. I imagine this would be useful in leiu of a content filter if you only have a couple of sites that are effecting productivity that you’d like to block, such as Twitter, FaceBook and eBay.

    Trend maintains a list of unsafe websites. This list is very small, which is my biggest gripe with the product. for this reason, and this reason alone, I believe that Trend Micro Web Reputation is not suitable for medium to large corporations. The reason for this is that, as the list is small, and websites with viruses on them are often new websites (often domains that only exist for a year before they are discarded), you really need to disable access to untested websites, then manually whitelist the websites as users request them. Consequently a large company would be too heavily impacted by this blocking. Though, I suppose a large company would have an internet content filter and therefore no need for Trend Micro Web Reputation. Unfortunately, the small list (and therefore the need to manually add websites) makes it inappropriate for a company that’s small enough to not have an IT person on site. Therefore, the target market would be a small office with an IT guy or a very tech savvy office admin, or a company that wants to be very ridged about internet access and operates on a whitelist of only specific business websites that don’t often change.

    Finally my last gripe with Trend Micro Web Reputation is that if they are transmitting untested URLs that clients visit, back for analysis (which they don’t seem to be doing) they don’t seem to get categorized. I think that Trend Micro Web Reputation was just added to the OfficeScan product to tick a few boxes and add an offering to the antivirus product to give something extra that competitors may not have.

    Ok, so this review wasn’t a carefully crafted article with persuasive rhetoric and a nice start, middle and end. In fact it’s been more of a splurge of information rather than a review, but I think it has some useful info in it that will hopefully help anyone considering buying Trend Micro OfficeScan for the Web Reputation component.

    Please feel free to shares your opinions and experiences of Trend Micro Web Reputation, or even write your own review!

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