Microsoft revamps hosted security offerings

Microsoft has revamped its hosted security offerings with the launch of Exchange Hosted Services (EHS), formerly known as FrontBridge Technologies.

The software giant now offers four key products in its software as a service strategy including hosted filtering, archive, continuity and encryption services.

These services are designed to offer "hosted solutions to help ensure the security and high availability of an organization's messaging environment while satisfying internal policy and regulatory compliance requirements," according to Microsoft.

In addition, the Redmond-based firm unveiled a new per-user licensing model for all the services as well as road map details, including information about the upcoming EHS 5.3 release and the 6.x series of releases that will align with Exchange 12 availability.

Operating over the internet as a service without any in-house hardware or software to install, EHS is designed to allow organizations to better protect against email-borne malware, satisfy retention requirements for compliance, encrypt data to preserve confidentiality and help preserve access to email during and after emergency situations.

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering, available with a free 30-day trial, incorporates multiple filters to help protect inbound and outbound email from spam, viruses, phishing scams and email policy violations.

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption allows users to send and receive encrypted emails directly from their desktops.

Microsoft said it will continue to develop these services with the next release, EHS 5.3, scheduled for April. Improvements to real-time recognition and alerting of spam bursts aim to improve the service's ability to block new spam attacks.

Promised Admin Center security enhancements include improved options to enforce additional password policies, such as requiring strong passwords and forcing password expiration.

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