Making sense of Microsoft Forefront

Microsoft has put together a suite of server security products that may appeal to "Microsoft shops" -- here's what it offers

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  • Forefront Security for Office Communications Server: This product provide malware and out-of-policy protection within your enterprise for the documents sent from OCS.
  • Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010: Formerly known as Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server 2006), this is designed to protect your business from Web-based threats. Features include virus and malware scanning, URL filtering, HTTPS inspection, and firewall protection.
  • Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010: The successor to Intelligent Application Gateway IAG 2007, this provides secure remote access through SSL VPN or DirectAccess, with control via access policies and predefined authentication methods.

Now that you have a general overview of the different products available, the logical question is "Why would I go with Forefront over a third-party product?"

It's a good question, but one you need to answer for yourself. Some shops will go with the mantra "we buy Microsoft," believing that Microsoft is best able to protect the products it creates and in an integrated, consistent way. However, that logic assumes you don't have a heterogeneous environment.

If you have a heterogeneous environment and/or don't mind stepping outside the realm of Microsoft products for your security solutions, by all means investigate how Forefront stacks up against other solutions you are interested in. And let us know in the comments what you think.

This article, "Making sense of Microsoft Forefront," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows and security at InfoWorld.com.

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