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Microsoft unveils security server beta

Microsoft released a beta, or test version, of its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 software on Tuesday. The product is designed to offer an improved application-layer firewall, a stronger virtual private network (VPN), and expanded Web-caching capabilities, in order to provide users with increased network security and performance.

The company said the package will make corporate networks more secure against outside harassment from hackers in particular, as application-layer security has become a popular point of entry for Internet attacks. Microsoft promised that the software offers more advanced security policy adjustment settings, customizable protocol and network routing relationships, and a number of ease-of-use upgrades.