Microsoft launches first hosted security product

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Microsoft launches first hosted security product

Microsoft today made a number of announcements under its Business Ready Security initiative, including its first hosted security offering, and a public beta of the Stirling integrated security suite.

Forefront Online Security for Exchange Server features comprehensive anti-malware protection and spam detection, alongside new capabilities previously announced under the Geneva codename to help firms migrate and manage identities in the cloud.

"It is tied into Active Directory so customers can feel secure that their identities are being managed and grounded on what they have already deployed within Active Directory," explained Microsoft's director of identity and security, JG Chirapurath.

"And we've added licensing flexibility so all the customer needs to do is buy the Forefront security suite and it's up to them whether they deploy the on-premise [or hosted] version."

Microsoft also released a public beta of the new Stirling security suite, which ties together products on the server, client and edge, making it easier to manage and bringing the benefits of shared knowledge of security events.

"When a threat is felt on the edge, that event will be absorbed and understood and analysed and that information presented to all the other tiers of the suite," said Chirapurath.

"However, this is not just a Microsoft challenge; all actors in the industry must put a strong foot forward to counter the threats."

To this end, Microsoft is making available a new security assessment API to "anyone in the industry" to help firms achieve the Business Ready Security goal of "protect everywhere, access anywhere".

Twenty partners, including RSA Security, Juniper Networks and Kaspersky Lab, have already been announced that will make use of the API to extend the capabilities of Stirling.

In addition, Forefront will become the de facto brand for all identity and security products, thus Microsoft's Identity Lifecycle Manager will be known officially as the Forefront Identity Manager from today.

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