New Microsoft Forefront Software Runs Five Antivirus Vendors' Engines Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint supports AV from Authentium, Kaspersky Lab, Norman, and VirusBuster as well as Microsoft
Microsoft today rolled out a new member of its Forefront security family that supports up to five different vendors' anti-malware scanners simultaneously, including its own AV tool.
The new Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint is aimed at preventing users from either uploading or downloading infected documents or sensitive information. In addition to the new Forefront product
, Microsoft also unveiled Active Directory Federation Services 2.0
But Microsoft's inclusion of any combination of a select group of AV vendors' engines in the new Forefront product stood out the most: it supports not only Microsoft's own Forefront anti-malware software, but also AV engines from Authentium, Kaspersky Lab, Norman, and VirusBuster. "We use a multi-engine approach. This is an acknowledgement that no one vendor can see all the threats and profiles out there," says JG Chirapurath, senior director of Microsoft's identity and security business group.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst with The Enderle Group, calls Microsoft's strategy here "kind of an embrace and extend technology for AV." He says enterprises typically don't like multivendor approaches to security, but they also don't like to switch vendors, either.
"By using Forefront as the management layer, they would be initially attracted by the multiple AV support and motivated to move away over time from their existing AV vendors and towards a generic Microsoft solution if happy with the initial result," Enderle says. "This actually could be one of the rare times Microsoft has, subsequent to Office, used 'embrace and extend' to move into a market."