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).
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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
Today, we released a new version of Forefront Online Security for Exchange (Release 9.1). This release delivers key enhancements to the directory synchronization tool as well as usability improvements to the administration center and spam quarantine.
New features in this release include:
To see a demo of some of these features - check out our TechNet Webcast on FOSE here!
Headquartered in Albany, New York, AMRI provides wide-ranging scientific services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. AMRI has more than 1,200 employees and sales of approximately U.S.$180 million.
The company was using two different client security solutions that did not work well with each other, had reliability problems, and were difficult to manage.
In 2007, AMRI tested a beta version of Forefront Client Security in a pilot project. After the pilot’s success, the company began FCS enterprise-wide.
“For what we really need it to do—secure the computers that store our company’s critical data—Forefront Client Security is a robust, stable solution that does the job reliably. Because we can automate the deployment of Forefront through Windows Server Update Services, we don’t even have to use an admin console to push it out to the environment. It supports a set-and-forget-it approach.”
-James Edwards, Sys Admin, AMRI
Read the case study here.