Last week West Coast Labs announced that Forefront Client Security has received the CESG Claims Tested Mark (CCTM),which provides a government quality mark for malware detection and performance, based on accredited independent testing. CESG is the UK government's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance. Their stamp of approval means UK government departments can reliably look to Forefront for endpoint protection.
The certification is designed to attest to the overall effectiveness and performance ofaproducts providing protection from a wide variety of security threats (malware, spam, URLs, etc. It is the fastest growing certification systems for information security products and services and is a highly regarded accreditation program.
Today Microsoft released findings from a survey of 1200+ IT professionals in the US, UK, Germany and Japan. Some of the top findings about their opinions on IT in a recession, priorities and where they are investing are here. Among the most interesting results are related to security, such as:
· IT pros cite security as the number one challenge in managing infrastructure (above some other big challenges, such as uptime, resource utilization, systems management, end-user support, sprawling datacenters and interoperability.)
· Protection of customer and company data is the top security priority, above other activities including security systems management (#2), compliance and governance, identity management and adopting hosted security services.
· A majority of IT pros view security as an enabler of business. More than half think that IT security responsibilities include advancing overall business goals (52%) and increasing end-user productivity (51%)
The Microsoft take? We agree! Security remains too complex and expensive, and it should facilitate business collaboration, empower people and help organizations achieve their goals. That’s why we are taking a different, broader approach with Business Ready Security.
For an example of a company using identity and security solutions to grow in a challenging environment, watch this video about NuStar Energy.
NuStar Energy Tightens Protection by using Business-Ready Security Solutions
For more information, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/infrastructure/resources/itprosurvey.mspx
Today, Microsoft released a public beta of its new, free consumer anti-malware product codenamed “Morro”, which now has an official product name: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). This new solution will address the growing need for a PC security solution tailored to the demands of emerging markets. You may remember that “Morro” was originally unveiled back in November 2008 after we announced the discontinuation of retail sales for Windows Live OneCare subscription service effective June 30, 2009. As we described in this blog last year, Microsoft Security Essentials is intended for consumers, not business customers. Microsoft continues to offer security solutions for businesses with the Forefront line of products as part of its Business Ready Security strategy.
It is important to note that MSE will have a very positive impact on Forefront, because it allows Microsoft to capture even more threat intelligence from customers as more people use the free anti-malware solution. We'll be able to use that information to help extend our security research and in the development of signatures and protection capabilities in our Forefront products, which are being deployed by increasing numbers of enterprises today, with thousands of Microsoft security partners certified to sell and deploy Forefront solutions. And, of course, there's an exciting road ahead for Forefront as we release a brand new set of products for this family in our next fiscal year under the codename "Stirling".
Key points about Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)
· The MSE beta will become available to the first 75,000 visitors to www.microsoft.com/security_essentials starting Tuesday, June 23, 2009. An English language version will be available to beta testers in the U.S. and Israel, and a Brazilian Portuguese version will be available in Brazil. Support for Simplified Chinese in China is scheduled to follow shortly after initial beta release.
· MSE release (RTM) is scheduled for H2 2009 in 10 languages and in the following 20 markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
· MSE will include new protection technology, as part of the Microsoft anti-malware engine, called “Dynamic Signature Service (DSS)” which delivers real-time threat signature updates to the client when it detects something suspicious, whether code or behavior. As we mentioned previously in April, Forefront Client Security 2.0 will also include DSS when it releases in H1 2010.
· MSE is designed for consumers and will be offered as a free download separate from Windows (including Windows 7).
Are you interested in hearing about how other IT pros are reacting to economic conditions and where they’re investing (particularly security?)
Do you have questions about Microsoft’s efforts to help IT be more cost effective and deliver new solutions to business?
Is there a connection between virtualization and cloud computing?
On Tuesday, June 23rd from 10:30am – 11:00am (PDT), join a teleconference with Bob Kelly, corporate VP of Infrastructure Server Marketing. Bob will talk about the state of IT within the context of results from a new Harris Interactive study of 1,200 IT professionals from the U.S., United Kingdom, Japan and Germany. The study was commissioned by Microsoft’s Server & Tools Business. There will be time for your questions following the brief presentation. Submit questions over the phone or you can submit them at any time leading up to or during the teleconference by tweeting with the Twitter hashtag, #qs4ms. If you are interested in attending, please REGISTER NOW. Once you open the invite box, you can save and close to your calendar.
Forefront Threat Management Gateway Beta 3 – the last planned beta – is now available to the public for download and evaluation. This marks a big step towards providing a complete Web security solution with the first public preview of our URL filtering capabilities. I want to pose a few questions and answers about where Forefront TMG is going.
So, what makes our URL filtering special? For most companies, there is a physical limit on URL categorization and coverage because it is a manual process. Forefront TMG is leveraging the Microsoft Reputation Services to expand beyond what one company can provide. Instead, MRS aggregates URLs from multiple sources – including but not limited to iFilter, BrightCloud and Marshall8e6 – and determines which is most accurate for categorization. This gives Forefront TMG customers access to URLs from multiple trusted sources but also gives them confidence that the URLs will be accurate categorized. This enables Forefront TMG to expand well beyond where it could if Microsoft only developed its own URL data set, not unlike the added protection benefits of Forefront Security with multiple AV engines.
Why do you want Forefront TMG if you already have URL filtering? Most companies today have some sort of URL filtering. It may be a standalone product plugged into ISA or into a firewall or come as part of a unified threat management product. These solutions represent a compromise. With the first, you give up simplicity of a single vendor solution. With the second, you give up the richness you get from most standalone URL filtering products.
Forefront TMG represents the best of both worlds. It unifies a Web access gateway with URL filtering and antimalware so that you gain the efficiency of a single vendor but also provides functionality well beyond that found in UTMs designed as multi-purpose generic devices. Instead, it can be thought of as “best-of-need”. It provides the security you need with the simplicity you want.
You can find Forefront TMG Beta 3 here.
Senior Product Manager