Forefront Integrated Security System Beta Released


Microsoft Corp.made available a public beta release of its Forefront security solution, code-named "Stirling." The software is an integrated security system designed to allow administrators to control, access, and manage security capabilities across an organization's IT infrastructure. It includes a central management console for security configuration and enterprise-wide visibility and works with other ForeFront products that secure clients, Exchange, SharePoint, and the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server).

The beta edition is available for download at Microsoft's site. It's scheduled for release to market in the first half of 2009.

"Our research shows IT departments are demanding integration between individual security technologies," said Chris Christiansen, program VP for Security Products and Services at IDC. "Products like Forefront 'Stirling' will play a key role in reducing administrative and support costs and, ultimately, reducing the total cost of ownership of managing multiple security technologies."

A central element of Microsoft's infrastructure integration approach is Dynamic Response, a Microsoft technology built into each component of Forefront "Stirling" that allows the system to share and use security information to automatically respond to and resolve threats across multiple layers of the IT infrastructure.

"Enterprise customers today are looking for a more comprehensive, better integrated and easier-to-manage security solution," said Chris Lavelle, vice president for Idea Integration Corp., a Microsoft systems integrator and a Forefront beta program participant. "Forefront 'Stirling' integrates security technologies as part of a centralized approach to desktop, server and network management, enabling customers to take advantage of information gathered at any point in the network to help better protect and manage the environment as a whole."

Microsoft also announced Tuesday the name of its next-generation network edge security product, Forefront Threat Management Gateway. This is the future version of Microsoft ISA Server and will extend the capabilities of ISA Server 2006 with new features and security technologies, designed to help provide multiple-threat protection, simplified management and secure connectivity, and will be built on Windows Server 2008. The company said additional information about the release will appear later in 2008.

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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.