Google and VirusTotal? A big win for the security industry.

By | October 17, 2012

Like many of you, I saw today’s news of Google’s announced acquisition of VirusTotal. I had some thoughts that I wanted to share about this.

Quite simply, I think this is excellent news for Trend Micro, for the industry and everyone.

Why is that, you might ask?

Two reasons:

First, Google is definitely not trying to make money from stand-alone security.  Google acquired Postini, an email security company, for $625 million in 2007, but they recently announced that they will be retiring Postini, and will instead be offering its security and archiving features in some of their Google Apps products starting next year.

Second, from an industry perspective we now have the massive cloud infrastructure of Google collecting virus samples. Google’s massive infrastructure is much more stable than the existing stand-alone VirusTotal infrastructure and we believe it will be much more reliable source and so a benefit for the industry as a whole.

What this means is that security vendors like Trend Micro will be getting sample feeds directly from Google. In the current system, security vendors get samples from their AV testing group, who in turn get these from other AV vendors. The problem with this is that whoever submits more samples get a higher detection rate and that skews the system. Overall, I think it’s much better for everyone if the security vendors to get these sample feeds directly from Google.

From a Trend Micro point of view, when our customers buy our security products, they’re not just buying threat detection,  they’re also buying what comes after that –the clean up, the service, and the peace of mind that someone will help them. This is Trend Micro’s area of expertise.

So, I am very excited about this news! This AV industry needs a source for collecting all the threats, but one that isn’t in the business of making money out of these collections:  Google is a great candidate for that!! Much like the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), who acts as a center for collecting and providing aggregated information about diseases; while the hospitals, clinics, and doctors provide solutions and services for patients!

AV vendors can compete on how we serve our customers, how we provide security solutions, and NOT on how many viruses samples one can collect.




Eva Chen

CEO, Trend Micro

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