Microsoft is now a few weeks into the second beta release of its Threat Management Gateway, the successor product to Internet Security and Acceleration Server. But the software giant's conservative approach to security results in some drawbacks for IT.
TMG is a Web security product particularly suited to protecting medium sized businesses against malicious code penetrating the network from http and https traffic. Microsoft positions TMG as a firewall to block malicious code and filter access to unauthorized URL, as well as providing front-end security to Web-based applications including Exchange and SharePoint.
Microsoft and nearly any other company on the planet, knows how to build products for mid-tier businesses. In high tech, vendors often prematurely rush features to market in efforts to win awards from reviewers and impress prospects with the depth of their feature checklist. Microsoft takes a very conservative approach with its security products to minimize customer administrative costs and provide fundamental security that works for the duration of the Microsoft relationship. This long term view has benefits and drawbacks for IT that can be illustrated by TMG:
To be sure, Microsoft has a vested interest in a conservative approach to security. Product complexity leads high support and engineering costs, which with the size of Microsoft's base poorly implemented product features could jeopardize customer relationships and result in extensive expenses. Threat Management Gateway exemplifies Microsoft's approach to effectively administered security for mid-tier organizations.<
Eric Ogren is founder and principal analyst of the Ogren Group, which provides industry analyst services for vendors focusing on virtualization and security. Prior to founding the Ogren Group, Eric served as a security industry analyst for the Yankee Group and ESG. Ogren has also served as vice president of marketing at security startups Okena, Sequation and Tizor. He can be reached by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.