Microsoft releases link IT management and security

Microsoft has unveiled its latest strategy for IT security with two products that combine IT security with IT management.

Microsoft has unveiled its latest strategy for IT security with two products that combine IT security with IT management.

Microsoft Forefront Client Security is designed to help IT departments protect desktops, laptops and server operating systems from viruses, spyware and Trojans. The product integrates with Microsoft's System Center software and Active Directory services to provide centralised security management.

Forefront works alongside System Center Essentials 2007, a unified management tool, which Micro­soft said could help manage IT environments in mid-size companies.

System Center Essentials 2007 provides a single console from which IT managers can view and manage servers, clients, hardware, software and IT services. With prices starting at £1,000, it is offered as a management server with built-in support to manage 50 clients and 10 servers. This can be extended with additional licensing.

Forefront Client Security is licensed on a per-user, per-device basis, starting at about £6.50 a year per user/device for the security agent and about £1,250 a year for the management console.

The product is available as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License suite through Microsoft Volume Licensing. From July it will be available as a standalone product via standard Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements.

The company's strategy is to make IT management part of IT security. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said, "We understand that security and management are two of the biggest challenges that [IT departments] face, and Microsoft is ready to help you overcome these challenges with our Forefront and System Center solutions."

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