Today we released Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint and Active Directory Federation Services 2.0, which makes it a good time to talk about secure business collaboration.
It is clear that collaboration drives the modern enterprise. Sharing documents and applications within the company, from the remote office, with trusted partners and customers, into the cloud, etc. - is crucial for most organizations today.
Collaboration is a key engine for success, regardless of which industry or part of the world you're in. And, whether its deployed on-premises or as hosted cloud service, the new SharePoint 2010 is the ideal business collaboration platform to connect people within the enterprise and beyond.
Of course, helping ensure valuable information is safe against accidental loss, theft and malicious software is no trivial exercise in the world of cloud computing and cross-company collaboration. Information is the lifeblood of any organization and it must be kept highly secure. In his blog Gartner vice president Neil MacDonald wrote about this "tearing down of walls between businesses and the opening up of our information, processes and systems to outside parties - whether these are contractors, outsourcers, partners and customers. Nearly every enterprise I speak with is being asked to enable and foster secure collaboration with external entities."
Working with customers and partners, Microsoft has learned a great deal about secure collaboration. Based on this, we thought we would share our top five recommendations to help companies strike the right balance of risk management and productive collaboration.
The new Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint and Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (ADFS 2.0) provide essential building blocks for a Secure Collaboration solution. They also represent great progress for what we call our Business Ready Security strategy to help enterprise customers manage risk and enable productivity.
Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint is deeply integrated with SharePoint Server 2010, preventing employees from uploading or downloading infected docs, inappropriate content, or sensitive information.
Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 is a no-cost download for Windows Server. It enables easier, more secure access to applications on-premises and in the cloud, as well as collaboration within the enterprise and across organizational boundaries. ADFS 2.0 lets companies apply their existing on-premises identities to the cloud.
Learn more here.
Tomorrow at 2:30 pm Eastern time, tune in via Twitter to see Kelly Higgins of Dark Reading interview JG Chirapuarth, senior director of the Microsoft Identity and Security Business Group. You can follow the discussion at either the Dark Reading or Forefront Twitter Account.
Recently, our Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint (FPSP) product was released so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain, in my own terms, the business value for the product. I also interviewed Noreen from the product team to get her take on the product as well as give us some demos of FPSP in action (viewable at bottom of this post).
Defense in Depth Especially considering how important SharePoint is to your business, you should have a defense in depth strategy which includes SharePoint. How much employee time or money would your company lose if someone uploaded a virus on SharePoint bringing it down or compromised the data? There are two significant unique features in FPSP that help your defense-in-depth strategy which I’d like to highlight:
More control and visibility over your data With a continued expansion of the amount of data inside your environment, the time to filter this data or cost to increase storage capacity can be significant. The data keyword & file filtering give you control over what type of data you allow on the SharePoint server and provide reporting on what type of files are present. This could save costs through not requiring additional storage capacity or helping to prevent data leaks. For instance, if you have a publicly-accessible SharePoint server in your company you could enable keyword file-filtering to prevent anything with the words “confidential" or “internal only” inside the files, even specifying the threshold of how many times these words show up before you disallow them from being posted.
To download this video in various formats such as Zune, iPod, WMV, or MP3, please visit the original post.
Hi all – I thought I would share another Forefront customer story. This one is tied to our recent posts on secure collaboration.
Founded in 1824, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a leading health-sciences center with one of the top 10 cardiovascular centers in the United States. MUSC comprises a 700-bed medical center and six colleges with 13,000 full-time employees, including physicians, researchers, professors, and administrative staff – as well as 2,600 medical students. (More below.)
Like many large organizations, MUSC relies heavily on Exchange for email and SharePoint for collaboration. For example, the entire medical university uses SharePoint to share critical information: the IT department manages work schedules, project documentation, and its knowledge base; colleges use it to post classroom resources, such as syllabi; and researchers use it to share the latest medical research that benefits the greater medical community and, in the end, plays a part in saving people’s lives.
Security challenges were impeding the benefits of collaboration, however, and increasing IT costs and inefficiencies. Approximately 30 weekly malware incidents were taking up as much as 120 IT hours each week. Worse, they could leave physicians and nurses without the critical equipment they use to improve patients’ health.
The IT team at MUSC needed to replace its existing security solution to better protect its collaboration and messaging environment from malware and other threats. In particular, it wanted to prevent specific content or file types from being uploaded and spread across its network.
MUSC moved to Forefront, taking advantage of an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) to implement Forefront Client Security and the new Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange and SharePoint – saving $200,000 on licensing costs.
“Even though Forefront products are included in our CAL agreement, it really goes beyond money and comes down to ‘does it work?’” explains Clay Taylor, Endpoint Security Engineer at MUSC. “After seeing Forefront in action, the answer is ‘yes it does.’
MUSC also uses Active Directory Domain Services to control identity-based access to SharePoint sites. In addition, Forefront Threat Management Gateway serves as a web proxy for Exchange and SharePoint to guard against threats from unmanaged PCs that access the MUSC network.
As a result, MUSC has reduced malicious software incidents by 45 percent to save about 108 hours each month for IT personnel, meaning they can focus on more strategic projects…and spend fewer nights and weekends re-imaging machines.
The IT department at MUSC is now better able to fulfill its mission of facilitating an environment where nurses, doctors, staff, and students can collaborate and collectively provide top-quality patient care and make positive contributions to the latest in medical research.