Forefront End of Life: on the backburner… and about to go out

By Dr. Guy Bunker @guybunker

Forefront End of Life: on the backburner

A while ago Microsoft announced that Forefront Protection for Exchange is going to be discontinued, and that time is now upon us, as support ends next month. This leaves a gap for many organizations. The trouble with end-of-life products is that you hear about it well in advance, and before you know it, the date has arrived and there is still no contingency.

So, what are the options for those looking to replace Forefront for their Exchange installations? Well, there are many factors to take into account – not least the consideration around data loss prevention (DLP) and while Microsoft offered rudimentary DLP capabilities, the available adaptive DLP solutions, are much more useful in today’s ever increasing legislative and cyber-attacked market. Furthermore there are other considerations required, to negate the internal threat, or “The Enemy Within”.

The obvious Forefront replacement strategy is to look to a secure email gateway, such as the award winning (Best Email Security Solution – SC Magazine 2015) Clearswift SECURE Email Gateway. This provides the best of breed solution for email security which offers a choice of anti-virus engines and top performing anti-spam – but also offers adaptive data loss prevention as well. As a solution, it can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud - giving you the flexibility of deployment options today and in the future. Furthermore it can be peered with our SECURE Exchange Gateway (winner of Awesome Product of the year 2014) which provides the ability to bring DLP inside the organization, but shares the policies and management to reduce operational costs.

For many DLP is something that has been heard about, and not necessarily in the best way. The challenge with DLP is ‘the false positive’, which is where the policy detects information which breaks policy and stops the communication. Great for risk reduction, but not so good for everyday business. Clearswift introduced Adaptive Redaction nearly two years ago (yes, we won another award!) as a piece of unique functionality to overcome the false positive. In a nutshell, it removes the information which breaks policy, but leaves the rest to continue on to its destination – and provides a very simple operational workflow to release the original, for example by the sender’s manager, should it be required. The outcome is that communication continues but critical information is kept safe at all times.

So, Forefront is on its way out and you are rethinking your email security strategy – now is a great time to plan for the future and look at how functionality has moved on to provide the best protection for you, your employees and your organization.