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Microsoft's Stirling released in public beta

Company's security suite enables administrators to push policies out across PCs, servers, and other computers that access the Internet.

Microsoft released its new Stirling security suite in public beta at RSA 2008 on Tuesday.

The Stirling security package, the next wave of its Forefront software, offers one management console, enabling administrators to push policies out across PCs, servers, and other computers that access the Internet.

Administrators can set the system up so that policies are automatically followed or so that they require administrator approval before further action is taken, such as blocking a computer from accessing the network if the system detects that it has been compromised, said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of Microsoft's Access and Security Division.

The console is easy on the eyes, showing graphical representations of the severity of security threats to the network, even down to the individual PC level.

A beta refresh with new features will be available before the end of the year, Hamlin said.

Microsoft also is rebranding its Internet Security & Acceleration (ISA) Server as Forefront Threat Management Gateway. The software includes firewall, and Web antivirus and remote access technology for protecting computers that connect to the Internet.