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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

Forefront add-ins

I have decided to add security to my blogging activities so here goes..

Microsoft has developed a range of products under its Forefront brand which add security into some of it’s more connected products. In an ideal world these would be built in to each part of the platform, however there is a huge industry in providing security software and if Microsoft started bundling these capabilities into its products there would inevitably be cries of foul, monopoly and anti-trust. 

So what are these security add-ins and what are they protecting?

  • Office Communications Server (OCS) is all about well er.. communication and this usually occurs when someone like me wants to be on a VOIP call, or an instant messaging (IM) conversation.  To protect against malicious attacks inappropriate use of IM there is Microsoft Forefront Security for Office Communications Server(FSOCS)  (currently at Beta 3) for you to try here.  One thing that made me smile is that this uses OCS itself (IM) to let you know when out of policy events occur!

Updated 25 March: One of my Twitter followers @Bibbleq has quite rightly pointed out that FSOCS was released on 16 March 2009, sorry about that, Andrew  

  • Exchange  is probably the most common connected Microsoft server and Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server sp1 is available to try here

  • SharePoint is increasingly being opened up to allow external access as part of a business to business solution or to allow remote working without needing a VPN.  In either case the content being updated on the SharePoint sites could become compromised or infected.  So there is yet another bit of Forefront the cunningly named Forefront Security for SharePoint which is now at sp2.  A good example of the interesting world we know live in is that SAS a well known business intelligence provider and competitor to Microsoft in the BI space is actually a case study for this Forefront technology.  Also as far as I know this is the only security product available for SharePoint.

These products are all individually licensed, and are also included in the Forefront Security Suite or the Enterprise CAL Suite.  I have called out the links to evaluation copies above but all of this is available in non time-bombed form via your TechNet subscription.