Common Management Console

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Modernizing Authentication - What It Takes to Transform Secure Access

With the launch of "Stirling," Microsoft is looking to put the silver lining on the security cloud.

The idea here is to offer the most protection in the simplest form possible. The Forefront product line will later include Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint and Forefront threat management gateway, formally known as ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server.

All of the products will share a common management console and will effectively integrate and communicate with each other. That allows users to pick and choose which security technologies to integrate, without experiencing the penalty of escalating management chores.

What's more, the various security products all communicate with each other to further enhance overall security. For example, if the desktop firewall uncovers a new threat, the firewall at the edge will be notified, along with any other integrated security products.

A management dashboard and extensive reporting follow the same thread, all products are integrated and all events are rolled into a single dashboard and logged for consistent reporting. The idea is to give administrators almost instantaneous notification of any type of a security problem in a centralized environment. This allows those same administrators to react quickly, which will prove to be an important capability during an outbreak or intrusion that an administrator must contain immediately.

Forefront is truly an indication that Microsoft is taking security seriously and is looking to build integrated products that the channel can sell into enterprise accounts.

The question remains though: Will Forefront be effective enough to unseat security leaders such as Symantec, MacAfee, Sonicwall and others from their domination of the market? Either way, Forefront will be sure to create more opportunities for channel partners looking to sell security products.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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