Microsoft Expands Enterprise Security Portfolio

Microsoft's Threat Management Gateway offering lets companies give their employees and partners secure remote access to corporate resources, and includes new URL filtering, anti-malware, and intrusion-prevention technologies. TMG's integration with core network infrastructure such as firewall and VPN also tackles the problems of security sprawl that have plagued many companies, Microsoft said in a post earlier this week to the Forefront team blog.

The TMG also uses Microsoft Reputation Service, a cloud-based threat intelligence database which currently indexes over 45 million Web domains and pages and continually tracks their reliability. Security vendors are increasingly leveraging the cloud to provide faster response to zero day threats, and Chris Lavelle, Vice President of Idea Integration, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based solution provider, sees this as positive step for Microsoft.

With the PMG, "You're getting IPS and a cloud-based reputation service at a price point that's compelling and much lower than non-integrated security products," said Lavelle. Pricing for the Forefront TMG 2010 Standard Edition starts at $1,499, and the malware updates and cloud-based URL filtering are $12 per user or device annually.

Microsoft's Unified Access Gateway is designed for companies with far flung workers that need to offer access to the corporate network via managed and unmanaged PCs and mobile devices. UAG supports Windows DirectAccess, a new feature of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 that offers secure remote connectivity without VPN.

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With the two new Forefront products, Microsoft has consolidated many of the independent components of a remote access solution, which will make life much easier for administrators, said Lavelle. "In particular, the administrative overhead now has a much smaller footprint," he said.