Microsoft moves enterprise security to Forefront

Forefront is Microsoft's new solution designed to manage and control enterprise IT security, the company announced this week as part of the annual Microsoft Tech Ed conference in Boston.

The first Forefront offerings, scheduled for public beta release in the fourth quarter of this year, will be Forefront Client Security – formerly known as Microsoft Client Protection – and the next wave of Antigen products, Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Security, Access and Solutions Division, said in a statement.

"One of the key challenges customers face when protecting desktops and laptops is that of controlling and managing the state of client security across the organization," Kummert said.

In addition, the release of Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint is scheduled to coincide with the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Office 2007. No date was announced.

"Customers are facing a broader, more complex and diversely motivated threat landscape," Kummert said. "Attacks are increasingly advanced, more carefully targeted and often aimed at specific applications."

"In protecting themselves from these threats, customers are faced with a vast array of solutions, each of which will protect a given point against a specific threat," he added. "However, implementing such a combined collection of security solutions can provoke configuration and integration difficulties, making it more costly and complex to manage, control and report on the security of their environment."

Microsoft also announced the launch of its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006, roughly a week after the Redmond, Wash., computing giant launched its Antigen email security products.

Microsoft last week announced that its line of Antigen products, developed after the company acquired Sybari Software in 2005, will be released early next month.

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