Systems Engineering and RDBMS

What is Microsoft Forefront?

Posted by decipherinfosys on February 27, 2007

Microsoft Forefront is a complete line of business security products that encompasses security for all aspects of an organization’s infrastructure. The goal of Forefront is to bundle security features into one comprehensive package that provides ease of use through central administration. Forefront can be integrated with existing third-party security solutions.

Most organizations today have security measures in place for their information technology infrastructure, including anti-virus, firewalls, intrusion detection, spam filters, etc. Unfortunately, administration of theses measures is often disbursed, and can even be the responsibility of completely different groups. So, this essentially means that an organization’s security is only as effective as how well these different groups interact.¬†Ensuring that various security solutions are administered effectively can be a headache in even the smallest of organizations, and with Forefront, Microsoft hopes to ease this pain.

Forefront is divided up into 3 realms: Server Security, Client Security, and what Microsoft calls Edge Security. Server Security includes protection for Exchange and SharePoint, Client Security provides malware protection for laptops and desktop PCs, and Edge Security revolves around Microsoft’s Integrated Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, which provides network security along with VPN capabilities for remote client access. The Forefront product line breaks down as follows:

  • Client Security
  • Forefront Security for Exchange Server
  • Forefront Security for SharePoint
  • Forefront Security for Office Communications Server
  • Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006
  • Intelligent Application Gateway(IAG) 2007

Client, Server, and Edge Security solutions can be trial downloaded separately directly from the Microsoft Forefront homepage:

Is a bundled security solution like Forefront too good to be true? Perhaps. Past experience has shown most administrators that separate, dedicated security solutions are much better at what they do than a solution that offers multiple security functionality. However, if one looks more closely at the Forefront solution, one realizes that it is comprised of many components that have previously been available as separate standalone solutions. Microsoft’s attempt to combine these components under one administrative umbrella would certainly be a welcome improvement.

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