Microsoft has announced the availability of the public beta release of its next-generation Forefront security platform, code-named Stirling.
Forefront Stirling is an integrated security system that is designed to deliver comprehensive, coordinated protection, making it easy to control, access and manage security capabilities across an organisation's IT infrastructure, the company said.
The platform is scheduled for release to market in the first half of 2009.
The Redmond Giant said that Stirling includes a central management console for security configuration and enterprisewide visibility, combined with the next-generation Forefront products that span the client, server and network edge.
They include Forefront Client Security, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint and the next generation of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), Forefront Threat Management Gateway.
"Customers tell us that IT security is becoming increasingly complex, with multiple point solutions and management consoles creating both a financial and management headache for businesses today," said Ryan Hamlin, general manager in the Access and Security Division of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft.
"Microsoft is focused on reducing that burden for customers. By taking an integrated solutions approach that combines IT security, identity and access with systems management capabilities at the foundational level."
Chris Christiansen, programme vice president for Security Products and Services at IDC, said: "Our research shows IT departments are demanding integration between individual security technologies.
"Products like Forefront Stirling will play a key role in reducing administrative and support costs and, ultimately, reducing the total cost of ownership of managing multiple security technologies."