Posted by: kurtsh | February 29, 2012

INFO: What’s the difference between Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 & Microsoft Security Essentials?

imageI got this question from a customer today:

Q: Why should we use Forefront’s Antivirus technologies on our PCs?  Isn’t that the same thing as Microsoft Security Essentials?

There’s a very significant difference between the two:

  • Microsoft Security Essentials is the free antimalware service that provides real-time protection to consumers and small businesses to address the ongoing security needs of a genuine Windows PC, helping to protect it from viruses, spyware and other malicious threats.
  • Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 provides endpoint protection for business environments, including not only antimalware, but behavior monitoring and firewall management protections. Forefront Endpoint Protection also includes central deployment, configuration, and reporting features needed for ensuring protection is maintained across the enterprise. Both Forefront and Microsoft Security Essentials share the same Antimalware Protection Platform and provide comprehensive security protection to their users.

FOR CONSUMERS
For consumers and very small businesses needing protection from malicious software including Spyware, Viruses, Trojans and rootkits, Microsoft Security Essentials is a free, high-quality anti-malware service that efficiently addresses the ongoing security needs of a genuine Windows-based PC. Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 provides endpoint protection for business environments, including not only antimalware, but behavior monitoring and firewall management protections. Forefront Endpoint Protection also includes central deployment, configuration, and reporting features needed for ensuring protection is maintained across the enterprise

FOR ENTERPRISES
Forefront Endpoint Protection, the next generation release of Forefront Client Security, simplifies and improves endpoint protection while greatly reducing infrastructure costs. Built on System Center Configuration Manager 2007, it will allow customers to use their existing client management infrastructure to deploy and manage endpoint protection. This shared infrastructure lowers ownership costs while providing improved visibility and control over endpoint management and security.

New key features included in FEP include:

  • Integration with Configuration Manager. Single interface for managing and securing endpoints reduces complexity and improves troubleshooting and reporting insights.
  • New Antivirus Engine. Highly accurate and efficient threat detection protects against the latest malware and rootkits with low false positive rate.
  • New behavioral threat detection. Protection against “unknown” or “zero day” threats provided through behavior monitoring, emulation, and dynamic translation.
  • Windows Firewall management. Ensures Windows Firewall is active and working properly on all endpoints, and allows administrators to more easily manage firewall protections across the enterprise.

FOREFRONT HOST INTRUSION PREVENTION
One of the big inclusions within Forefront Endpoint Protection is Host Intrusion Prevention capabilities.

Host intrusion prevention includes a wide variety of technologies that help prevent unwanted activity on endpoint and server operating systems. These protections are spread across the application, file system, and network layers. Forefront Endpoint Protection incorporates several Host Intrusion Prevention technologies.

  • Application: Behavior monitoring
  • File System: Antimalware (known threats) and Dynamic Translation and Emulation (unknown threats)
  • Network: Windows firewall management

There is an additional vulnerability shielding technology, known as Network Inspection System (NIS), that is also in the Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010. Based on a similar technology found in Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Service, it is designed to protect endpoints against application-layer threats through signatures and a deep protocol and application analysis.


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