Software // Enterprise Applications
News
6/4/2007
01:28 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Stirling Promises Integrated Forefront Security Info

Product announced Monday promises to deliver security information about clients, servers, and networks to a single console.

It didn't take Microsoft long to figure out that all of the servers, software, and services deployed for the sake of IT security generally lack a management interface that can pull together and make sense of all the information being collected. The company responded Monday at its TechEd show with the introduction of an upcoming Forefront product code-named "Stirling," which promises to deliver security information about clients, servers, and networks to a single console.

The thinking is that, when Stirling hits the streets, IT and security managers will have one place to consult when they want to deploy and manage their Forefront PC antivirus software, server content filtering software, and network firewalls and VPNs. Characteristically, Microsoft is looking fairly far out onto the horizon, as Stirling won't be available in beta, and a limited beta at that, until the end of this year. General availability isn't scheduled until the first half of 2009.

Ultimately, Stirling will become an umbrella product through which Microsoft will sell Forefront security products to protect client, server, and network devices. The company says it will continue to sell stand-alone Forefront products as well.

Unfortunately, Stirling will not manage security software from other vendors, which means that, if companies have already invested in Symantec Norton AntiVirus Enterprise Edition, McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention for servers, and/or Trend Micro ScanMail, they won't be able to set and enforce policies for those products via Stirling. And they'll have to look elsewhere for a truly comprehensive picture of their IT security operations. "The scope is that this will manage Forefront products," says Josue Fontanez, Microsoft's senior product manager for Forefront client security. "We're not announcing any support for third-party products."

"Microsoft has heard that argument before," that customers have already invested in security software from a multitude of vendors, says Margaret Dawson, Microsoft's group product manager for security and access product marketing, "But people continue to buy Forefront. Customers want one company to work with."

Microsoft expects that Stirling should play an important role in its Network Access Protection, or NAP, policy enforcement platform built into Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, formerly known as Longhorn. Stirling's role in this set-up will be to ensure that PCs, mobile devices, and other endpoints trying to connect into a company's network are clean prior to being inspected by NAP.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.