Following the last month’s launch of Forefront Protection for Exchange, today we are announcing more progress for our Business Ready Security strategy with the release of two new solutions: Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG) and Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 (UAG.)
These solutions address two key endpoint security challenges. TMG, available for evaluation and purchase now, helps companies provide safe employee web browsing. UAG, which will release to manufacturing in mid December and be generally available shortly thereafter, enables organizations to give employees (and trusted partners and vendors) secure remote access to corporate resources.
Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
Today’s information workers require web access to do their jobs, but web-based threats continue to rise. For example, the recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report indicated that phishing rose significantly in the first half of 2009, quadrupling in May, and that social networking sites accounted for 76% of all phishing impressions. Securing web use is traditionally challenging for security administrators. Multiple products and vendors create high costs and management difficulty through “security sprawl.”
TMG is a secure web gateway that enables safe employee web use through comprehensive protection against malware, malicious web sites and vulnerabilities. Building on its predecessor, ISA Server 2006, TMG provides new URL filtering, anti-malware, and intrusion-prevention technologies to protect businesses against the latest web-based threats. These technologies are integrated with core network protection features such as firewall and VPN to create a unified, easy-to-manage gateway.
One of the most exciting features of TMG is its use of Microsoft Reputation Services – a new cloud-based system hosted by Microsoft which maintains a centralized database of 45 million (and growing!) web domains and billions of web pages to help customers identify and block malicious web sites. It pulls data from multiple sources, such as Hotmail, the same technology that powers SmartScreen in Internet Explorer 8, the Windows Live Security Platform, and more than 10 partners, such as Brightcloud, M8e6 and FutureSoft. The TMG/ISA blog provides a great overview of TMG and its URL filtering capabilities.
Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010
Building on its predecessor, Intelligent Application Gateway, UAG enables remote access via managed and unmanaged PCs and mobile devices. Integrating a deep understanding of applications, the health state of end user devices, and the user’s identity – UAG enforces granular access controls, ensures security, and reduces management costs and complexity.
While UAG provides a variety of connectivity options such web publishing and SSL VPN tunnels, one of the best new features is UAG’s support and enhancements for Windows DirectAccess (DA). DA is the future of remote access allowing for seamless, always-on connectivity. Always-on keeps users happy as they are continually productive, but it also keeps administrators content as users are “always-managed.” UAG helps make DA deployments simpler, more extensible and easier to scale.
Hi all – Bill Jensen here, senior product manager for Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG.)
TMG Beta 2 is now available for download. For those that do not know, Forefront TMG is the successor to the Internet Security and Acceleration Server, more popularly known as ISA Server.
As we all know, the Web is a great boon to employee productivity. People use the Web every day and all day in the course of their jobs. Web-based applications and social networking sites grow in popularity. But at the same time, the Web presents increasingly dangerous security threats. TMG helps organizations take full advantage of business benefits presented by the Web by keeping malware out and controlling employee Web usage.
The three key features of Forefront TMG Beta 2 that will help customers to do this effectively:
Web Antimalware: This feature will inspect HTTP traffic for malware and viruses. It is a complement to desktop security suites such as Forefront Client Security and enables you to have a central point of control as well as defense in depth.
HTTPS Inspection: More and more Web traffic is being encrypted using HTTPS. This means most firewalls cannot inspect it for malware. Forefront TMG Beta 2 acts as a trusted intermediary that un-encrypts the traffic, inspects it, and then re-encrypts it. This enables it to inspect for malware.
Network Inspection System: A corollary to the rise of Web-hosted attack vectors is the rise of the application-layer attack. The Network Inspection System acts as an application-layer shield for vulnerabilities. This enables you time to complete your system patching and helps close the vulnerability window.
We also plan to include URL filtering to allow or block employee access to Web sites. Administrators will be able to define categories of prohibited sites, such as known malware sites or sites with inappropriate content. (URL filtering is not in Beta 2, however.)
Another new feature that helps improve security is improved integration with Forefront Security for Exchange. For organizations that place Exchange in an Edge role (Forefront Security for Exchange, and Forefront TMG on the same server) there is now a common management interface within Forefront TMG to enable you to simplify your management chores.
Microsoft is providing an update on release timing for Forefront code name “Stirling,” an integrated security suite that combines the next-generation Forefront solutions for endpoint, messaging & collaboration, and network protection with a central management console.
Previously, we communicated that “Stirling” was targeted for release in the first half of this year.
So, why the delay?
We have been working closely with customers in our Technology Adoption Program to gather their feedback about how we can deliver the best experience and value with “Stirling.” One of the top customer requests was adding interoperability with third party security solutions. In response, we plan to increase our focus on one of the unique features of “Stirling”, Security Assessment Sharing (SAS.) SAS correlates security events from different Forefront products and third party solutions, enabling administrators to quickly investigate and remediate security events. We will provide information about interoperability partners in the near future.
Additionally, we are investing significantly in a behavior-based technology called Dynamic Signature Service to help deliver more comprehensive endpoint protection for zero day attacks. This will complement the "Stirling" suite's advanced heuristics, dynamic translation and real time application scanning for kernel level malware with a sophisticated approach to on-demand threat mitigation.
Stay tuned for more information about how to evaluate “Stirling” and to learn more about the benefits of an integrated security suite with third-party interoperability. Customers investing in Forefront solutions today will have an easy migration path to “Stirling.”
The Microsoft Identity and Security Team
FSOCS provides fast and effective protection against IM-based malware for OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 environments by including multiple scanning engines from industry-leading security partners. FSOCS also helps reduce corporate liability by blocking instant messages containing inappropriate content.
This release includes:
- 64bit support
- Support for OCS 2007 R2
- Support for OCS 2007 Enterprise Edition server roles
- Integration with OCS 2007 Access Edge role to protect corporate IM from external public IM threats
- Localization in 11 languages
Like other Forefront server security products, FSOCS provides superior detection of the latest threats when compared to single engine solutions by using our multiple engine scanning technology. FSOCS has also been featured in a few of the OCS 2007 R2 virtual launch sessions that you should check out. Lastly, we are making available some new content including a new demo walk though, case studies from Sporton International and Convergent Systems, and a datasheet. Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for our Technet virtual hands on labs!
Secure your OCS deployments and download FSOCS today!
There's currently a good deal of buzz about yesterday's announcement of Microsoft's plans for a no-cost security offering. Code-named "Morro," the new solution will address the growing need for a PC security solution tailored to the demands of emerging markets. Related to this, the company will discontinue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription service effective June 30, 2009.
So, people may ask how does "Morro" compare to Forefront Client Security? Will enterprise customers use it? The answer is no, "Morro" is intended for consumers, whereas Forefront products are enterprise solutions, providing the capabilities and features required in sophisticated IT environments, e.g. centralized deployment, management and reporting, security state assessments, scheduled signature distribution, update management, etc.
It is worth noting that "Morro" will have a positive impact on Forefront, because it will allow 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 in our security research and the development of signatures and protection capabilities in Forefront.
Forefront products are being deployed by increasing numbers of enterprises, with thousands of Microsoft security partners certified to sell and deploy Forefront solutions. And, of course, there's a great road ahead with Forefront codename "Stirling."