Trend Micro introduces antivirus certification in S'pore

Security vendor aims to raise the level of competency of security practitioners in Asia.

SINGAPORE--Security vendor Trend Micro has introduced two certification programs for both amateur and professional IT security practitioners in the island-state.

The Trend Micro Certified Antivirus Professional (TCAP) assesses IT and network administrators on virus identification and classification, as well as the use of virus analysis tools.

Explaining to reporters during a briefing last week, Ang Ah Sin, Trend Micro's regional marketing manager for South Asia, said: "We want to have more people understand and be able to analyze viruses, and [alert] Trend Micro about them.

"If everybody can do that, we can shorten the time [to fix the bugs] as promised to customers worldwide," Ang added.

One industry observer welcomed the TCAP certification program, which began its first intake last week with 14 participants.

Simon Gibbons, an independent security specialist who provides auditing and compliance consulting to multinational corporations in the Asia-Pacific region, noted that the program dealt on the "nuts and bolts of virus analysis". Lessons are progressive, and "built on the previous day's learning", he added.

Unlike the TCAP, which is a generic certification program not tied to any security vendor's products, the Trend Micro Certified Security Expert (TCSE) program assesses an individual's level of competency and knowledge in Trend Micro's products. TCSE is targeted at IT security professionals who have at least six months' working knowledge of Trend Micro's products.

The two programs are endorsed by the National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC), the accreditation body for the infocommunications technology industry in Singapore. Both programs are conducted by software consultant and educational provider Genovate Solutions, which has been appointed an authorized training center for Trend Micro certification in the island-state.

Singapore is the third country in Asia to offer the two certification programs. Ang said the certification has been available in Malaysia for "a few years", and in Thailand since last year. However, Trend Micro does not partner Genovate in these two countries.

Ang said Trend Micro would consider developing courses around topics such as rootkits and spyware in future.

He added that Trend Micro has plans to replicate the Singapore partnership in countries that are fast-growing in the security space. "In India, we're growing very fast…[we feel] the demand for TCSE will be very high. There'll be pressure to start having certification, and we can probably explore [that] with Genovate," he noted.

Trend Micro's competitors currently do not offer any generic certification program outside of its partner or reseller base in the region.

When contacted, a McAfee spokeperson said the company has no plans to offer a similar certification program to the TCAP.

In an e-mail response to queries from ZDNet Asia, a Symantec spokeperson said certification by the company relating to virus analysis and management is only available outside of the Asia-Pacific region.

The TCAP program costs S$2,500 (US$1,532.75) for a five-day course, and participants must pass a practical examination at the end of the course in order to gain accreditation. Each of the nine examinable modules under the TCSE program costs S$500 (US$306.55) and participants must pass a minimum of six examinations to be certified. The period of validity for certification is one year for the TCAP, and two years for the TCSE.

Those undergoing the TCSE certification are entitled to 50 percent subsidy under the Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Program (CITREP), on the condition that they pass the examination at the end of the course. The CITREP is a national training incentive scheme for infocomm professionals administered by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.