Microsoft Preps Business Antivirus, Antispyware Product

Speaking at a technology event near Amsterdam, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Forefront Client Security, Microsoft's antivirus and antispyware product for business desktops that has been in development since 2003, will be available "in the next month." The product has been in beta testing for more than a year, and the company's most recent target for final release is by the end of June. Ballmer characterized the product as an all-in-one security product for PCs in a business environment. Forefront Client Security is based on software Microsoft acquired in its 2003 purchase of antivirus vendor GeCAD. It also includes antispyware technology that Microsoft brought on board in 2004 when it bought Giant Company Software.

In his speech, Ballmer acknowledged that it's only been in the last five years that Microsoft has made security a priority as it developed new and existing products: "About five years ago, we got a real wake-up call: security issues really started to accelerate on the Internet and in our products. We had built products and designed them in a world [before] the Internet. [When] we started to see any increase in the number of security issues, the first thing we did was committed ourselves to the reliability of our core products."

News source: PC World

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18 Comments

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Funny how things turn into a rant on how Windows should not need an AV solution. :P With that said we have been a part of the Forefront beta program for a while and I can honestly say it is a good product. After we installed the software, which can be installed using WSUS, we found several systems with malware and one machine with a virus. All of the systems had Trend installed and it did not find any problems.

This is a good product for being v1. Integration is good and the reporting is very good.

MazX_Napalm said,
MS bought Sybari Antigen last year(?). It is a pretty good AV for Exchange.

Yes they did purchase Antigen and it is a great AV for Exchange. We have used the product for a few years now and the multiple scanning engine solution is great.

Instead of concentrating on cleaning and protecting systems, why not try and fix the underlying issue....

Computers should not need antivirus or antispyware software. Security advisories are fine, but not the hundreds that plague Windows computers.

Perhaps Vienna will deliver on this, and provide computers that are actually ready for use in todays world...

The underlining problem is people click on everything and install all sort of crap.
I only occationaly run online-scanners virus scanner -- don't have a active scanner. The machine is set to autoupdate since XP. Proud to say not a single infection in over 10 years since I first started using computers.

Yeah, to be fair I haven't had a virus on Windows since my friend gave me a copy of qbasic on a 5.25" disk...

But people obviously do. The issue is that you should be able to use a computer with out fear that if you click the wrong thing then it's all going to go up in smoke.

You shouldn't need antivirus in a company - firewalls are obviously important here, but anti-virus...

Why did Windows become the most used OS....

rich.bradshaw said,
You shouldn't need antivirus in a company - firewalls are obviously important here, but anti-virus...

Which planet are you from?

rich.bradshaw said,
The issue is that you should be able to use a computer with out fear that if you click the wrong thing then it's all going to go up in smoke.

Surely the antivirus is meant to deliver that sense of security.

I mean that these products shouldn't need to exist...

It's like buying a car, then having to buy as an extra something to keep the wheels on. If you don't then they will probably fall off unless you are a mechanic who knows where and where not to drive.

When you buy a car, you expect problems like keeping the wheels on to be fixed - the extra security shouldn't be needed.

Buying a computer, that out of the box, can't be connected to the internet without heavy and constant patching sounds like a computer that isn't finished.

You wouldn't accept this with any other product...

Now, this wouldn't really be as much of a problem if there weren't other operating systems which didn't have these problems. Otherwise we could say, as Microsoft undoubtedly believe, that computers are too new to have all the bugs ironed out - other industries have had orders of magnitude longer to sort things out. Unfortunately, other systems have got it sorted out.

Window's isn't ready for the primetime yet - there are huge problems with it's foundations that Vista has started to address. As I said, hopefully the next version will bring the security issue up to the same level we expect and need if we are to move towards a more and more computer based lifestyle.

rich.bradshaw said,
I mean that these products shouldn't need to exist...

It's like buying a car, then having to buy as an extra something to keep the wheels on. If you don't then they will probably fall off unless you are a mechanic who knows where and where not to drive.

When you buy a car, you expect problems like keeping the wheels on to be fixed - the extra security shouldn't be needed.

Buying a computer, that out of the box, can't be connected to the internet without heavy and constant patching sounds like a computer that isn't finished.

You wouldn't accept this with any other product...

Now, this wouldn't really be as much of a problem if there weren't other operating systems which didn't have these problems. Otherwise we could say, as Microsoft undoubtedly believe, that computers are too new to have all the bugs ironed out - other industries have had orders of magnitude longer to sort things out. Unfortunately, other systems have got it sorted out.

Window's isn't ready for the primetime yet - there are huge problems with it's foundations that Vista has started to address. As I said, hopefully the next version will bring the security issue up to the same level we expect and need if we are to move towards a more and more computer based lifestyle.


troll.
There will always be a need for it because the OS has to allow customization, otherwise people will get upset that they can't install their applications and whatnot. Its user error that creates the need for antivirus not the os. How is the os suposed to know that the user is computer illiterate and doesn't realise this free screensaver is actually trying to steal his passwords.

Edit: and if you believe linux is secure from user error than I have a wonderful download for you. Just go get it and then do insmod klm_stealyourinfoandgivemerootaccess.o

The only way to prevent virus and malware is to prevent the user from having any real access to the system. That means no installing programs, no changing settings, no running programs except whats been added to a list, which you can't add because you can't change settings.

In the future, before saying what should and shouldn't be, please check as to whether that's technically feasible.

rich.bradshaw said,
I mean that these products shouldn't need to exist...

It's like buying a car, then having to buy as an extra something to keep the wheels on. If you don't then they will probably fall off unless you are a mechanic who knows where and where not to drive.

blah, blah blah


There's a fatal flaw in your argument. When you're driving your car down the road, you don't have people trying to trick you into doing unsafe things with your car.

A/V software protects computers from people. The user is the weakest link in the security chain, not the OS.

CCRATA said,
There will always be a need for it because the OS has to allow customization, otherwise people will get upset that they can't install their applications and whatnot. Its user error that creates the need for antivirus not the os. How is the os suposed to know that the user is computer illiterate and doesn't realise this free screensaver is actually trying to steal his passwords.

Edit: and if you believe linux is secure from user error than I have a wonderful download for you. Just go get it and then do insmod klm_stealyourinfoandgivemerootaccess.o


Sure you should be able to customize the OS, install apps and whatnot. The thing is, needing an antivirus to stay safe while doing all that stuff just shows the OS design is flawed. If a program is supposed to install a screensaver, it should be allowed to do that exactly, and nothing more.

Regarding that kernel module, you should better provide the source code, instructions to download/install the kernel sources and compile the module, and then expect the kernel to be configured to accept module loading.

Anyway, compare the number of times times you modprobe a module vs the times you double click an exe.

Quote - ichi said
Sure you should be able to customize the OS, install apps and whatnot. The thing is, needing an antivirus to stay safe while doing all that stuff just shows the OS design is flawed. If a program is supposed to install a screensaver, it should be allowed to do that exactly, and nothing more.

Hence the Vista security model and UAC...

Quote - ichi said
Regarding that kernel module, you should better provide the source code, instructions to download/install the kernel sources and compile the module, and then expect the kernel to be configured to accept module loading.

This is why Windows is the most used OS. You can actually install stuff (like services and kernel-mode drivers) by simply running setup.exe. Sure it's own advantage is its own down-fall, but isn't it that way with all OSes? Linux is strong and stable, but hard to configure, which makes it strong and stable. With MacOS you know it will work, but only because it only works on what Apple lets it work on. Windows does anything and everything the user wants, but the user has to make sure that anything and everything is really what they want it to do.

JonathanMarston said,
Hence the Vista security model and UAC...

That still relies on an "all or nothing" approach. You either deny access, or allow the program to do whatever it wants to do, which you wont know until it's already done.

That is, it's putting again the burden on the user, how has to decide if he trusts an app he knows exactly what it's supposed to do, but can't tell if it'll be actually doing that. It should be up to the OS to provide a more fine grained access control. Even if an app is running with admin privileges, there's no reason why it should be allowed to do anything besides what it's supposed to do.

Don't give me a "but on linux..." because I know not all linux setups have something like that. What I said about the UAC could apply to relying just on sudo aswell.
I'm just talking about the way I think things should be, on any OS.