A new partnership between security vendor Trend Micro and systems management vendor BigFix will give solution providers tools for managing and securing enterprise customers’ globally distributed endpoints.

Trend Micro will license BigFix’s unified management platform software and extend it across all of Trend Micro’s endpoint security products, providing simplified management of mobile devices, remote office hardware and other distributed infrastructure security.

“Enterprise customers tell us their biggest problem is managing the complexity of security solutions, while their number two problem is keeping malware out,” says Dan Glessner, senior director of customer insight at Trend Micro. “Management of the ‘cure’ has turned into a much worse problem than the ‘disease’ itself!”

That management burden can lead to lapses in security, especially in an increasingly mobile and far-flung workforce, says BigFix CTO Amrit Williams. Especially with large enterprises that have numerous branch offices and “road warrior” employees, it’s extremely difficult to keep each and every mobile device, notebook and laptop and smartphone up-to-date with the latest patches and bug fixes.

In some cases, Williams says, enterprises are losing visibility into 10 percent to 30 percent of their endpoint assets, and that can leave gaping holes in enterprise security.

“In a dynamic environment with mobile computing, the infrastructure can’t support that kind of mobility. If you can’t see it, you can’t update and secure it. Lots of systems fall under the radar,” Williams says. “The largest security vulnerabilities are the ones you can’t see.”

The BigFix software allows IT greater visibility and control over all a customers’ infrastructure, and also allows them to manage those assets from a single console. Integrating BigFix’s systems management software with TrendMicro’s endpoint security will allow solution providers to discover all a customers’ endpoint assets and monitor their status in real time, the companies said.

Solution providers will be able to deliver both cost and time savings to customers, since simplifying management can free up personnel previously devoted to managing and maintaining security infrastructure, says Williams.

“Some customers have hundreds, even thousands of servers that they use, in part, to manage their antivirus solutions, for example,” says Williams.

By consolidating security management operations one customer not only increased their endpoint security and visibility, but freed up 12 full-time employees that were previously devoted only to managing the firm’s antivirus deployment, he says.

For solution providers, the Trend Micro-BigFix partnership may produce a cost-effective way to help customers resolve their security management issues. Williams says that BigFix uses a streaming content delivery model that will provide solution providers instant access to these new solutions.

“They can now stream these technologies to the servers and endpoints they’re managing,” he says.

Both TrendMicro and BigFix solution providers and their customers now have the option to access the security capabilities of Trend Micro and the management capabilities of BigFix.

“It’s much like subscribing to a cable television channel,” says Williams. “You just have to call up and say, ‘I want to subscribe to this,’” he says.