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April 17, 2009

Microsoft launches hosted security service

Frontline email protection fronts cloud rollout

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft is ready to launch a revamped hosted security service, an online email security option for protection of inbound and outbound e-mail from spam, viruses, phishing scams, and e-mail policy violations.

Forefront Online Security for Exchange is the first of a series of cloud offerings expected from Microsoft and will be used to deliver four security service components. 

These will cover content and policy-based filtering, spam and virus scanning, real-time message trace and reporting, and disaster recovery.

The service starts at $1.75 per user per month, according to a Microsoft website.

The system allows administrators to enforce policies on e-mail usage and gives them tools that allow the status of any e-mail processed by Forefront Online Security for Exchange to be retrieved in real-time.

If the destination e-mail server becomes unavailable for any reason, no e-mail is lost or bounced because it will be automatically sent every 20 minutes until successful and queued for up to five days. Microsoft says it will use a network of data centres of fault-tolerant servers to route traffic and minimise the chances of interruption to the service.

Access to the service is triggered with a mail exchange record configuration change, and there is no hardware to provision and no software to buy or install. The system integrates in any existing Active Directory system.

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