Trend Micro broadened its cloud-based security infrastructure on Monday so that its products can receive actionable threat intelligence that lets the security software act like a "virtual shield" against many Web-based threats.The benefit of this "virtual shield" approach means that customers with Trend's Deep Security, available for physical and virtualized servers, as well as virtual desktops, or its new Deep Discovery aimed at detecting advanced persistent threats, will be able to block more than 200 million threats per day identified by the Smart Protection Network. The threat intelligence is also applied in real-time to Trend's Titanium products for consumer endpoint security and Trend's mobile, messaging and gateways products.Trend now develops "virtual patches" based on any identified exploit, even if the vendor hasn't formally issued a security patch yet, says Tom Kellermann, Trend Micro's vice president of cybersecurity. "Within an hour, all our customers that use Deep Security would have it, even if Microsoft didn't have a patch for 10 days."Trend's Smart Protection Network introduced in 2008 to aggregate real-time threat information and automatically transmit needed updates to Trend security software. Today, "there's a shift away from payload-based malware to Web-based threats," says Kellerman, adding Trend now has 1,200 threat researchers. "We made a commitment in tens of millions of dollars in going after the source of attacks."Some of the new capabilities announced today include mobile app reputation to detect mobile threats. "There are not just malicious apps out there, but many legitimate apps made bad," Kellermann says.The goal of Smart Protection Network is to protect customers, "and insulate them from the nefarious attack techniques that are utilized in 2012," Kellermann says.Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.