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Back Speaking of Microsoft security

NetworkWorld(February 10, 2006): Microsoft on Thursday released the first public beta of its ISA Server 2006 along with limited-release previews of new client protection and antivirus software for Exchange.

The company also said that it had acquired DynaComm i:filter Web filtering software from FutureSoft, a privately held company.

The betas are just the tip of the security announcements the company is expected to make at the annual RSA Conference where Bill Gates will deliver a keynote address on Feb. 14.

The Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006, which combines firewall, VPN and Web caching features, is expected to ship in the second half of this year. The server, formerly code-named Wolverine, includes new wizards for publishing SharePoint sites and to enable secure remote access from branch offices, Microsoft officials said. The branch office support includes enhancements for traffic prioritization, HTTP compression, caching of Microsoft Update files, as well as, deployment features including remote configuration.

ISA Server 2006 also includes new forms-based authentication that supports smart cards, RSA SecureID, Radius, and LDAP-based authentication.

The Client Protection services, which will have a public beta in the third quarter of 2006 and ship early in 2007, are targeted for corporate laptops and desktops. Client Protection includes anti-virus technology obtained through Microsoft’s GeCad acquisition in 2003, and anti-spyware technology acquired from Giant Company Software in 2004. It also includes the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Also in limited beta is Microsoft Antigen for Exchange, Antigen for SMTP Gateways, Antigen Spam Manager and Antigen Enterprise Manager. Microsoft acquired the lineup of Antigen products when it bought Sybari Software last year. The Antigen software supports a number of anti-virus scan engines and Microsoft has added support for its own Microsoft Anti-Virus scan engine. Microsoft also has added improved cluster support and enhanced anti-virus and anti-spam signature updating.

In addition, Microsoft said it acquired the i:filter, which is a URL filtering engine that includes a large database of known bad sites and a categorization engine that allows users to select what content and categories they want to block.

“The i:filter is currently an ISA Server plug-in and we will take it in house and work on integrating it into our product portfolio, but we are not making any announcements at this time [around specific products],” said Joel Sloss, senior product manager for ISA Server.

Also, Microsoft did not announce any pricing or licensing for ISA Server 2006, Client Protection or the Antigen software lineup.


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