Huge Microsoft Security Play

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Now that Microsoft’s revealed its plans for a next-generation integrated security management platform, the heat is on.  By developing a single, unified management platform — code-named “Stirling” — for security from the server to the endpoint and the edge, Microsoft has made what may be its most aggressive security play yet, security experts say of the software giant’s announcement at its TechEd 2007 conference yesterday.  Stirling initially will work only with Microsoft’s Forefront products, but it eventually will expand to include the integration and interoperability with third-party security vendors’ products, says Paul Bryan, a director of security and access product management for Microsoft.  “This is focused on security management, with comprehensive, coordinated protection across individual machines in the enterprise environment, as well as server applications and the network,” Bryan says.  The management console will let IT managers set policies and configure and deploy security across the network and endpoints…..Microsoft really had no choice but to take such a bold step given the rate at which researchers and hackers are hammering away at its software, says Rob Enderle, principal analyst with The Enderle Group.  “This is a forced march by Microsoft,” he says.  “They never intended to move into the security industry so aggressively, but they now see the industry as one at cross purposes to their goals in that to succeed, the industry has to drill holes in Microsoft’s products so that it can show value either identifying the holes or mitigating them.”  Enderle says Microsoft is “taking security back” by preventing security holes rather than letting the industry continue its focus on breaking its products…..

Security information management (SIM) and unified threat management (UTM) so far have been hampered by multiple vendors going their own way…..Stirling will let the various security tools communicate with one another to protect against threats, says Steve Brown, a Microsoft director of security and access product management.  By unifying its security tools with Stirling, Microsoft is “channeling” IBM, says Enderle Group’s Rob Enderle.  “IBM traditionally owned security for their offerings and they could integrate that security solution into the other solutions they had to ensure SLAs were maintained and disruption was minimized,” he says.  “Microsoft is now showcasing a similar strength, by approaching the problems comprehensively and pushing for their integration into Microsoft’s overall ecosystem.”…..

Reference : http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=125595

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