In Depth: Trend Micro’s Threat Research Centre In Toronto

Recently I had the chance to tour Trend Micro’s Threat Research Centre in Toronto which  has been around for about a year in the Liberty Village district in Toronto.


Fun fact: The location that Trend Micro occupies used to be a pool hall where I used to spend a lot time in when I turned 19 back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Trend Micro has occupied this 22,000 square-foot space for one purpose: To get ahead of the next wave of cyber threats and to work with others to protect everyone from what’s out there today. The latter is important because Trend Micro is willing to work with governments, law enforcement, and others to keep you safe.

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In addition to research, this facility serves as a centralized space for the company’s partners and customers. It is a nice open space that allows people to work with each other with ease. And if you look at the pictures above, you’ll note that there a couple of pinball machines. This is in memory of Trend Micro’s chief technology officer and pinball fan Raimund Genes who suddenly passed away last year.

They day that I was there, I got the opportunity to meet Myla Pilao, Director and Research Centre Lead who talked about the threat landscape and toured me through the facility. We talked about a number of things, but the main thing that I walked away from was this:

Assume that the bad guys are in.

If you assume that, you can build your defenses around that.

As for the discussion with Ms. Pilao, she notes that ransomware continues to be a popular avenue for attackers to earn money, but cryptojacking is rapidly rising in popularity. That’s got to make your blood run cold. IoT is also a very popular attack vector which is a big deal seeing that IoT is growing thing in businesses and homes. But not only is Trend Micro working to stop those threats. Via this research center they are looking at other ways to protect you from threats. For example I spent 15 minutes with a threat researcher who was looking into recent Windows “Patch Tuesday” updates and what they fixed. That way they can reverse engineer what the vulnerabilities were and provide countermeasures for those who have not yet installed those updates. That’s forward thinking.

Trend Micro is serious about protecting their users from emerging threats and this research centre is proof of that. You can expect good things to come out of this place that will benefit computer users everywhere. Thanks very much to Trend Micro for having the opportunity to tour this place and see the good work that is being done here.

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