Microsoft Announces New Product to Help Protect Business Customers

REDMOND, Wash., October 6, 2005– Microsoft today announced Microsoft Client Protection, a new security product that protects business desktops, laptops and file servers from emerging threats such as spyware and rootkits, as well as viruses and other traditional attacks. Microsoft Client Protection represents a significant milestone in the company’s continuing development of solutions to meet customers’ needs and improve the confidence in their computing experience.

PressPass sat down with Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Security Business & Technology Unit, to better understand the benefits of the Microsoft Client Protection announcement and what it means for Microsoft’s customers.

PressPass: Why is Microsoft announcing Microsoft Client Protection now? Aren’t there already numerous antivirus and anti-spyware software programs available to business IT, from several other vendors?

Nash: Malicious software developers are becoming more aggressive and customers need a robust solution to manage emerging threats. There’s been a change in motivation among hackers — we’re now are seeing more specific criminal behavior that is costing enterprise customers millions of dollars, both in expense and in lost revenue.

We have heard from business customers that they want protection from viruses, spyware and other malware threats with a single solution. Microsoft Client Protection addresses this need with one solution for desktops, laptops and file servers that combines proven protection technology with integrated management and reporting capabilities. It also enables IT departments to maximize the value of infrastructure that is already in use.

PressPass: What specific features are included in Microsoft Client Protection and how do they work?

Nash: Microsoft Client Protection combines strong anti-spyware tools, comprehensive virus protection and centralized management. These protection technologies will be backed by a global malware-research system. This consists of ongoing security research that is powered by volumes of data collected at Microsoft and submitted through the community — combined with advanced automated analysis techniques — to help discover new threats faster. We anticipate being able to share additional details on the technology in the coming months — our first goal is to get the limited beta out to customers.

PressPass: So how will Microsoft Client Protection truly help IT administrators better manage client security?

Nash: IT departments want to be in control of their environment and aware of important changes in security as they happen. Microsoft Client Protection is designed to provide insightful and prioritized reports and alerts to help IT managers focus precious resources on the right security issues. This will result in businesses spending less time dealing with malware threats, and more time managing other IT needs that help improve their business’ bottom line

PressPass: You mentioned earlier that one of the benefits of Microsoft Client Protection is that it maximizes the value of existing IT investments. What exactly does that mean?

Nash: Microsoft Client Protection will be optimized for use with Active Directory and Windows Server Updates Services for distribution of client configuration and signature updates. It is also flexible enough to integrate with any software distribution system customers have in place. This integration helps reduce initial deployment time and maximize value in existing investments.

PressPass: To wrap up our conversation, do you have any final thoughts for business customers who are trying to determine how best to resolve their security needs?

Nash: Security is an ongoing challenge that remains a priority for us. We need to continue to keep pace with evolving cyber threats, and Microsoft is working to deliver benefits in the form of solutions for all types of customers.

The interconnected nature of today’s business world requires a coordinated approach to the problem, and we’re working hard to provide our customers with the tools they need to more effectively manage security and help them focus on the business of doing business.