Hi All,

Today at RSA Conference 2008, Microsoft announced the availability of the public beta release of its next-generation Microsoft Forefront security solution, currently code-named “Stirling.” Microsoft Forefront “Stirling” is an integrated security system that is designed to deliver comprehensive, coordinated protection, making it easy to control, access and manage security capabilities across an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Customers can begin evaluating Forefront “Stirling” today by downloading it from http://www.microsoft.com/stirling.Forefront “Stirling” is scheduled for release to market in the first half of 2009.

Forefront codename “Stirling” is a single product that delivers unified security management and reporting with comprehensive, coordinated protection across clients, server applications, and the network edge. Through its deep integration with the existing infrastructure, such as Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft System Center, customers can reduce complexity, making it easier to achieve a more secure and well-managed infrastructure.

What Are the Key Benefits of Microsoft Forefront codename “Stirling”?

Comprehensive Protection: By providing integrated protection technologies across clients, server applications, and the network edge, and dynamic responses to emerging threats, IT pros will be able to proactively protect their organization from emerging threats.

• “Stirling” integrates comprehensive protection technologies, including anti-malware, anti-spam, content filtering, host firewall, multi-engine protection for messaging and collaboration systems, network edge protection, and other technologies to be announced at a later date.

• “Stirling” technologies will act as a distributed system, sharing information with each other, allowing for correlation of security information to identify complex threats. Protection technologies included in “Stirling” can be set to dynamically respond to these threats, making it easier for the IT administrator to address new threats.

• Integration with Network Access Protection ensures administrators can control network access based on user and machine authorization as well as adherence to the company’s security policy for endpoint protection.

Unified Management: “Stirling” provides a single management console across client, server, and network edge security.

• IT professionals can easily define their corporate security policy and “Stirling” will automatically configure the relevant protection technologies and ensure compliance to those policies.

• “Stirling” deploys configuration settings to existing groups of machines or users in Active Directory.

• IT professionals can use existing Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) infrastructure to deploy updates for “Stirling.”

Critical Visibility: Critical visibility into the security state, including insights into threats and vulnerabilities through one central console that easily communicates where action is required.

• “Stirling” collects security information from client, server, and network edge devices and provides both comprehensive reports as well as the ability to drill down and perform investigations on specific security incidents, all in one place.

• “Stirling” allows IT professionals to obtain real-time security state or identify emerging trends based on historical data.

For more information, please checkout the Forefront website - http://www.microsoft.com/forefront/prodinfo/roadmap/stirling.mspx

Nick.