Steve Ballmer details Microsoft’s security stance

Microsoft’s tough-talking CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday outlined his company’s ‘three-pronged’ approach to security which includes a new ‘Client Protection’ solution.

Speaking in Munich alongside Mike Nash, corporate VP for Microsoft’s security division, the business-oriented Client Protection product was described as boasting an integrated management console that delivers reports and alerts from systems across the network to sysadmins. It will hook into existing software deployment systems and support technologies such as Active Directory.

More interesting is further detail on how Microsoft is to utilise its acquisitions in the security space. The company made no secret over its plans for Sybari, and now says that its Antigen product based on Sybari technology will beta in the first half of next year. Antigen will essentially represent a Microsoft-branded version of Sybari’s Antigen front-end, into which one can plug a number of antivirus scanning engines.

Microsoft acquired Romanian antivirus outfit GeCAD two years ago and has been noticeably silent about how it will use its own antivirus engine built on this buy.

It now appears that Redmond is to include its antivirus engine with Antigen free of charge. Quite how this will go down with other builders of antivirus engines remains to be seen, but Kaspersky for one has in the past spoken out.

In February, when Microsoft unveiled some of its security plans for end-users, Andrey Nikishin, Head of strategic development and Market research department, at Moscow-based Kaspersky said, ‘I hope that Microsoft won’t make it free of charge, but it is more likely that we’ll encounter it. Microsoft, covering itself by the pompous idea of protecting personal users, will make the market collapse… The main antivirus industry players should deliver the “preventive blow” and should not allow Microsoft to release its antivirus for free.’

We have yet to see what the response will be this time around.

Even so, Microsoft also announced the founding of the SecureIT Alliance: described as ‘a group of industry partners that are working together to develop security solutions for the Microsoft platform.’

Members include F-Secure, Computer Associates, McAfee, RSA Security, Symantec and Trend Micro. Kaspersky is not cited as a member.

Between them they will have to contain Microsoft’s three-pronged approach to ensure it stays the right side of the competition laws and still leaves them room in the security market.

Microsoft says it will not only be developing its own products in a more secure and robust manner, it will be building technologies offering ‘defence in depth’ against attacks and vulnerabilities, as well as centralised systems for managing the security needs of systems across a network.

It says it is also looking into providing solutions based around identity and access control that will allow a customer to enforce security policies, ensuring a user is authenticated securely onto systems and to control what resources are then made available to that user.

‘At Microsoft, we’re investing heavily in security because we want customers to be able to trust their computing experiences, so they can realize the full benefits of the interconnected world we live in,’ Ballmer said. ‘With the continuing onslaught of malware, viruses, phishing attacks and other kinds of Internet fraud, creating a more secure computing environment requires a concerted, long-term effort on the part of all technology companies, as well as customers and governments.’

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos