Microsoft has so far been telling customers that its Forefront Stirling security suite
was on track for availability by mid-2009. At the end of the past week, the Redmond company informed that not only would Stirling not be available in the first half of this year, but that the delivery of some components had been pushed back as late as the first half of 2010. According to the software giant, postponing the availability of Stirling was necessary in the context of driving compatibility and focusing on perfecting two new features for the release Security Assessment Sharing and Dynamic Signature Service.
“We have been working closely with customers in our Technology Adoption Program to gather their feedback about how we can deliver the best experience and value with “Stirling.” One of the top customer requests was adding interoperability with third party security solutions. In response, we plan to increase our focus on one of the unique features of “Stirling”, Security Assessment Sharing (SAS.) SAS correlates security events from different Forefront products and third party solutions, enabling administrators to quickly investigate and remediate security events,” revealed
a member of the Forefront team.
The Redmond company delivered Beta 1 of Stirling back in 2008, and it revealed that yet another Beta was in the making. Following the availability of Beta 2, Microsoft also plans to offer a Release Candidate of the security suite, which contains the Forefront Client Security, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint and Forefront Threat Management Gateway, as well as a unified management console. Only then will Stirling move to RTM.
Essentially Microsoft will debut the Stirling availability with the launch of Forefront Server Security for Exchange and Threat Management Gateway (ISA Server vNext) sometime in the fourth quarter of 2009. The rest of the components, including the Stirling management console, Forefront Client Security 2.0 and Forefront Security for SharePoint, will only be delivered to customers in the first half of 2010.
“Additionally, we are investing significantly in a behavior-based technology called Dynamic Signature Service to help deliver more comprehensive endpoint protection for zero day attacks. This will complement the "Stirling" suite's advanced heuristics, dynamic translation and real time application scanning for kernel level malware with a sophisticated approach to on-demand threat mitigation,” the Forefront team member added.