Converging Endpoint Security and Management: Say hello to Forefront Endpoint Protection

Today the team delivered the anticipated Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 (FEP) public beta to customers.  The successor of Forefront Client Security is built on System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 R2, allowing customers to use their existing client management infrastructure to deploy and manage endpoint protection.

The end result? Customers will save capital costs on roll-out and also reduce training costs because administrators won't have to learn yet another management user interface.

FEP supports Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and all subsequent versions of the Windows client and server operating systems. Other new features include:

  • New Antivirus Engine.  Highly accurate and efficient threat detection protects against the latest malware and rootkits with low false positive rate.  
  • New behavioral threat detection.  Protection against "unknown" or "zero day" threats provided through behavior monitoring, emulation, and dynamic translation. 
  • Windows Firewall management.  Ensures Windows Firewall is active and working properly on all endpoints, and allows administrators to more easily manage firewall protections across the enterprise.
  • Dynamic Cloud Updates. On-demand signature updates from the cloud for suspicious files and previously unknown malware

If you are using System Center currently, you can download the SCCM 2007 R2 trial to understand the features and functionality that it provides to administrators for FEP trial purposes. 

We will announce pricing and licensing at a later date and the final product is on track to be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Download the Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 beta here and let us know what you think.  Need more information? Check out the Microsoft Forefront homepage and watch the TechNet Edge video below.

Comments (25)
  1. ED Hardy says:

    I adore your site, looks excellent and full of good info. Keep it up

  2. Steve says:

    Typically it is enterprise customers that will deploy SCCM due to the costs and complexity of deployment. As I see it Microsoft has left the small and mid-markets without a Microsoft branded endpoint security solution.

    What endpoint security solution will Microsoft provide to the small to medium size business that does not want to deploy SCCM? Perhaps a stripped down "runtime engine" of the core SCCM components required for FEP can be offered to operate and manage FEP on a single server?

  3. Tim McKenzie says:

    @ Steve

    For small to mid size business without SCCM or the budget for it I believe they recommend The Cloud based Windows Intune service thru Microsoft Online. see link for details:…/default.aspx

  4. Steve says:

    @ Tim

    Intune is interesting, but it's limited to companies who are willing to upgrade to Windows 7 and pay for Software Assurance. I still see a lot of customers using Windows XP until machines are refreshed. These companies typically have a handful of IT folks, so the cloud isn't quite what they need either. Microsoft needs a solution that can be standalone for configuring and managing, yet use WSUS for deployment and updates, much as the current Client Security can today, although they need to get rid of the MOM infrastructure. It could be as simple as making Security Essentials GPO aware.

  5. John says:

    Maybe they feel like Security Essnetials will feel the gap for SMB's?

  6. Andrew Fryer says:


    What's the story with System Center Essentials 2010 and Forefront Edge Protection/Microsoft Security Essentials?  I am guessing FEP won't integrate with SCE 2010 (even though SCE is based on SCCM ).  So does that mean you recommend  MSE for businesses with 50 servers/ 500 clients (the limits for SCE 2010?

  7. DV says:

    MSE cannot be installed in a business environment.  


    ◦Use. You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices in your household for use by people who reside there or for use in your home-based small business.…/eula.aspx

    So the only option from MS for business is FEP.  Like someone posted before, how small business without  SCCM will install and manage FEP?

  8. Sensa says:

    It's supported SQL 2008 R2 for DB and Reporting?


  9. Sensa says:

    Can someone tell me if FEP support SQL 2008 R2 for DB and Reporting?

    Thank a lot

  10. Chris says:

    Can we please get a clear answer on the question of small businesses and FEP?  It makes no sense to need full sql server and SCCM for all the small business server customers out there with less than 75 users.   Either tell us MS doesn't have a solution for these customers (which makes no sense) or what you recommend?

  11. Chris says:

    Sorry, please understand Intune is not an answer either – it is a cloud based product at $11 a month per PC.  

  12. Bob Hyatt says:

    I agree. it would be nice to know if i can deploy system center essentials and have support when forefront comes out or if i need to deploy system center configuration manager(which is overkill for our business) in order to take advantage of FEP.

    Please give us a plan for small businesses and an expected release date!

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  14. Vertu Phone says:

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  15. Bill Hole says:

    We are evaluating Zenith Infotech and we were very disappointed that Forefront was not on their list of supported products.  They support sucky products like McrAppy but not Forefront.  WTF?  Is there a smurf somewhere we can bug regarding this?

  16. JVCP says:

    I've learned that SBS 7 (Small Business Server) will include anti-malware, that would cover the 5 to 75 PCs scenario. It would be great if there was Anti-Malware capabilities in System Center Essentials, so we could take on the 100 to 500 PCs market also.

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  20. andreas says:

    We tested FEP RC and BEtas and I'm really disappointed how MS treats SMBs, SCCM won't fit for SMBs and it's too expensive. Even our enterprise customers does not want SCCM as they use third-party software and they are comfortable with their solutions. So we are forced to tell our customers "You spend a lot of money for FCS, please double this amount and add the same amount for traininig of your admins if you want to upgrade to FEP". Symantec solutions for SMB are the better choice,even Sophos, but Forefront is no alternative anymore. And if the customer uses a third party client solution, he will also use their Exchange addons and TMG alternatives.


  21. CypherMike says:

    I'm in the same boat as Andreas, just recently deployed FCS (didn't have the luxury of waiting) and have a 3 year contract now. With a userbase of 50-60 I very much doubt I'll be able to afford or even have the need for SCCM.

    We don't use SBS and am very interested at what if anything MS will offer…I'd also prefer it's not cloud based (but will eveluate if there's really no alternative). I don't only have Win7 clients and probably won't for a couple of years.

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