My name is Brendan Foley, and I’m the Group Product Manager for Microsoft Forefront Client Security, responsible for product management and marketing. The public beta release marks a major milestone for the combined engineering and marketing teams, who have all worked with dedication and focus over the past months to make Forefront Client Security possible.
As you can imagine, we’re all very excited about the public beta release. Here’s a few reasons why we’re excited about the product we’re developing:
Unified protection from viruses, spyware, and other malware threats.
A single security agent—installed on business desktops, laptops, and server operating systems—scans viruses, spyware, and other malware in real-time, providing effective protection against blended threats while minimizing end user disruption. Forefront Client Security is built on protection technology already used by millions of people worldwide in products such as Windows Live OneCare, Windows Defender, and Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server.
The solution is backed by Microsoft’s global security research & response system, a dedicated, experienced team of malware researchers which combines extensive data collected with advanced automated analysis techniques to help discover and respond to new threats faster. Check out the team’s recent report—Microsoft Security Intelligence Report—which provides an in-depth perspective of trends in the malicious and potentially unwanted software landscape in the first half of 2006.
Simplified administration through central management.
You can deploy the security agent as a single client package which includes all protection and management capabilities. You can also further save time by deploying a single policy that configures the anti-spyware, anti-virus, and state assessment technologies in the security agent for one or more protected computers. Forefront Client Security supports both local and remote access to all administrative functions including configuration, signature updates, reporting and alerting.
Critical visibility and control over threats and vulnerabilities.
A single dashboard provides visibility into threats and vulnerabilities. State assessment scans enable you to determine which managed machines need patches or are configured insecurely. Threat alerts deliver insightful, prioritized information that eliminate the need to search through volumes of data. Insightful, prioritized reports enable you to examine real-time data and emerging trends, focusing on critical information while allowing you to drill down for more detail as needed.
Ready integration into your existing environment.
Forefront Client Security is optimized for Active Directory Group Policy for configuring security agents and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) for distributing signatures, but you can use third party software distribution systems to accomplish these tasks as well. Forefront Client Security also complements the secure platform of Windows Vista to deliver improved performance and system protection. It supports Windows Vista features and functionality such as Windows Image File (WIM) for hard drive imaging and Transactional NTFS for graceful error handling and data protection. It also uses the prescribed scanning platform in Windows Vista (the Windows Filter Manager) to minimize end user disruption during pre-scheduled scans.
Please download the public beta and let us know what you think – we need your feedback and input to make the public beta a success!
Thank you for your interest in Forefront Client Security, and we look forward to hearing from you!
I am sitting on the plane on my way to Barcelona and IT Forum where Microsoft Forefront Client Security (FCS) will make its official public beta debut. It’s a long flight which has allowed me to reflect back on the past months in working on FCS as its development lead. I was thinking about what I might want to tell someone about FCS. I was thinking about the extensive anti-malware features; the immediacy of the information on the FCS dashboard; and even the detailed information coming from the security state assessment engine. And the truth is that all of that information (w/screen shots, etc) is well represented out on Microsoft.com.
What isn’t there is anything about the team that built FCS.
As for the team, we are a dedicated group across multiple disciplines; developers, testers, program managers, user education, and other areas. We are located across multiple countries. We have a focused management team supported by great administrative assistants. All combined, we have more than a quarter of a millennium (278 years to be exact) of Microsoft experience! Over these past several months, we have also brought in many great new people to the team. Old and new alike, we have poured our collective experience into the development of FCS.
We are a team that is passionate about security; passionate about our customers; and passionate about making great products. We are also passionate that Microsoft Forefront Client Security is one of those great products. We hope you feel the same way.
Over the next several weeks, there will be more postings about the product and the team. There will certainly be quite a bit more technical info about the product; including tips and tricks, deployment considerations, troubleshooting, etc. There might also be some more personal stuff about the team. Maybe I’ll even post some pictures from my last vacation.
Until then, the team is currently doing a final pass on the build – looking for any last minute issues. The features are all there. The quality is there. The product is all there. All the work of these past months has led to the public beta release of Microsoft Forefront Client Security – a release that the team can be proud of.
We are ready for it to be in our customer’s hands. We are ready for you to tell us what you think. We are ready for your feedback – embarking on a new journey together with our customers.
IT Forum, and the launch, is just around the corner… Hope to see you there.
Last week was a very busy one for the team. At our public beta launch at IT Forum in Barcelona, we were being constantly asked if 64-bit clients were included in the beta. We had a very simple, consistent response… “The product team is working hard to complete the release of our 64-bit clients. We are wrapping up some last minute validation and investigations, but expect them to be available very soon.”
Well, I am very happy to say that “very soon” has come and that the 64-bit clients are now available for download. Please take them for a test-drive! The installation package is for use with the Microsoft Forefront Client Security public beta release that was published earlier last week.
[12/13/2006] The download link above is now updated to point to the current full release that has completed 64-bit clients.