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Microsoft Debuts New Forefront Client

Microsoft launched the beta test of its new Forefront Client Security product that aims to help protect business desktops, laptops and server operating systems from viruses, spyware and other threats at its IT Forum conference in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday.

Besides the client beta, the company also launched two server security products, Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint, which are currently in public beta and will be available in December.

In addition, Microsoft also unveiled new application optimization features for the Intelligent Access Gateway, a product the company acquired when it bought out Whale Communications in July.

The company said that the goal of Forefront security products is to provide an additional layer of security – on top of the operating system and applications – to help protect customers' infrastructure against the very latest threats.

Each of the Forefront products includes multiple scan engines from security firms, such as Kaspersky Labs, Computer Associates and Sophos. The engines are managed and integrated in a single solution to provide rapid response to new threats and facilitate uninterrupted server uptime -- even when one engine fails or goes offline to update

Additionally, Microsoft announced new application optimizers for the Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) -- a remote access solution that combines SSL-based application access (SSL VPN), a Web application firewall, and endpoint security management.

Application Optimizers add customized policy and content inspection for Microsoft applications and third-party CRM, ERP and collaboration platforms. Microsoft announced an updated SharePoint Portal Optimizer and a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Optimizer for secure remote access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Microsoft SharePoint.

The Forefront Client Security beta is available for download here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.