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Microsoft sets Integrated Security System Forefront “Stirling” Beta free

Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the public beta release of its next-generation Microsoft Forefront security solution, currently code-named “Stirling.”

Microsoft Forefront “Stirling” is an integrated security system that is designed to deliver comprehensive, coordinated protection, making it easy to control, access and manage security capabilities across an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Forefront “Stirling” includes a central management console for security configuration and enterprise-wide visibility, combined with the next-generation Forefront products that span the client, server and network edge.

They include Forefront Client Security, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint and the next generation of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), Forefront Threat Management Gateway.

“Customers tell us that IT security is becoming increasingly complex, with multiple point solutions and management consoles creating both a financial and management headache for businesses today,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager in the Access and Security Division of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft.

“Microsoft is focused on reducing that burden for customers. By taking an integrated solutions approach that combines IT security, identity and access with systems management capabilities at the foundational level, and by delivering innovative products like Forefront ‘Stirling,’ we are providing dynamic protection and response capabilities that help customers secure their business while also saving time and reducing costs.”

“Our research shows IT departments are demanding integration between individual security technologies,” said Chris Christiansen, program vice president for Security Products and Services, IDC. “Products like Forefront ‘Stirling’ will play a key role in reducing administrative and support costs and, ultimately, reducing the total cost of ownership of managing multiple security technologies.”

Microsoft also announced the name of its next-generation network edge security product, Forefront Threat Management Gateway.

Forefront Threat Management Gateway is the future version of Microsoft ISA Server and will extend the capabilities of ISA Server 2006 with new features and security technologies, designed to help provide multiple-threat protection, simplified management and secure connectivity, and will be built on Windows Server 2008. More details about Forefront Threat Management Gateway will be available later this year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.