Microsoft Security Essentials, Forefront Software Betas Released

Microsoft has released the next editions of Security Essentials and Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 in beta form to customers.

Microsoft released the beta versions of upcoming editions of Microsoft Security Essentials and Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010.

In Security Essentials, Microsoft has added several new features and enhancements, including integration with Internet Explorer to protect against Web threats as well as a network inspection system to prevent network-based exploits.

According to a spokesperson, the network inspection system (NIS) can be found in the Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) beta as well.

"Based on similar technology found in the 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," the spokesperson told eWEEK.

In a blog post, Microsoft's Forefront team said the company has built FEP on System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 so customers can use their existing management infrastructure to deploy and manage the technology. The company has also added new behavioral detection to FEP to protect against zero-day attacks.

"We keep track of processes post-execution and watch for malicious behavior such as writing to the registry or modifying the kernel," a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK. "We can assess the likelihood of malicious behavior based on the repuation of a file and the sequence of events."

FEP 2010 also includes a dynamic translation feature where a process is emulated in a virtual environment using safe resources before it is executed on the actual computer.

Customers interested in the Security Essentials beta can register for it through the Microsoft Connect page. Right now, the beta is available in English in the U.S. and Israel, as well as in Brazilian Portuguese in Brazil. The beta will also be available in Simplified Chinese for users in China later this year, according to the company.

The finalized version of FEP is on track for the fourth quarter of this year, Microsoft said.

Customers can download the Forefront beta here.