Forefront Threat Management Gateway Beta 3 – the last planned beta – is now available to the public for download and evaluation. This marks a big step towards providing a complete Web security solution with the first public preview of our URL filtering capabilities. I want to pose a few questions and answers about where Forefront TMG is going.
So, what makes our URL filtering special? For most companies, there is a physical limit on URL categorization and coverage because it is a manual process. Forefront TMG is leveraging the Microsoft Reputation Services to expand beyond what one company can provide. Instead, MRS aggregates URLs from multiple sources – including but not limited to iFilter, BrightCloud and Marshall8e6 – and determines which is most accurate for categorization. This gives Forefront TMG customers access to URLs from multiple trusted sources but also gives them confidence that the URLs will be accurate categorized. This enables Forefront TMG to expand well beyond where it could if Microsoft only developed its own URL data set, not unlike the added protection benefits of Forefront Security with multiple AV engines.
Why do you want Forefront TMG if you already have URL filtering? Most companies today have some sort of URL filtering. It may be a standalone product plugged into ISA or into a firewall or come as part of a unified threat management product. These solutions represent a compromise. With the first, you give up simplicity of a single vendor solution. With the second, you give up the richness you get from most standalone URL filtering products.
Forefront TMG represents the best of both worlds. It unifies a Web access gateway with URL filtering and antimalware so that you gain the efficiency of a single vendor but also provides functionality well beyond that found in UTMs designed as multi-purpose generic devices. Instead, it can be thought of as “best-of-need”. It provides the security you need with the simplicity you want.
You can find Forefront TMG Beta 3 here.
Senior Product Manager