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Microsoft Releases ISA Server Feature Pack 1

Microsoft announced today the release of Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 Feature Pack 1, a set of add-ons that enhance the security for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft IIS, and Outlook Web Access (OWA) and improves ease of use for administrators.

Craig Fiebig, general manager of the Microsoft Security Business Unit (SBU), said "Based on all \[guidance from customer comments\] we've developed a set of features \[that include\] stronger protection for customers' e-mail servers, stronger protection for customers' Web servers, and well-defined tools that make this protection easier to deploy and maintain."

For IIS, ISA Server Feature Pack 1 includes URLScan, which is Microsoft's URL filtering tool typically deployed directly on IIS servers. With URLScan now part of ISA Server, the tool can filter URLs at network borders before they reach Web servers (IIS and OWA) inside the network. In addition, ISA Server Feature Pack 1 includes new integration and delegation for RSA Security's SecurID user authentication technology.

The feature pack also includes SMTP and remote procedure call (RPC) filters for Exchange Server. The new SMTP filter lets administrators screen incoming email based on sender, domain, keyword, attachment name, file extension, file size, and any SMTP command including the length of a command. The RPC filter can enforce 128-bit encryption between Microsoft Outlook clients and Exchange Servers and can also let Outlook clients that use ISA Server to connect to a network to access Exchange Servers inside the network.

For administrators, ISA Server Feature Pack 1 includes two new wizards: the Outlook Web Access Wizard and an RPC Filter Configuration Wizard. The feature pack offers a link translator that converts internal private URLs to publicly accessible URLs on the Internet. It also offers troubleshooting documentation to help you configure and maintain IIS and Exchange Server.

Fiebig also said, "We see ISA Server as an application-layer engine capable of performing a wide variety of security functions. Many of these functions need to be performed at the network edge and are addressed by ISA Server's functionality as a firewall. However, there are a number of functions--such as URL and content filtering, SSL acceleration and load balancing--that are outside the core scope of a firewall, but still necessary for comprehensive network security."

For example, both Symantec and Trend Micro have agreements with Microsoft to offer their antivirus software as integrated products for ISA Server platforms. In addition, Internet Security Systems (ISS) offers its RealSecure Server Sensor 6.5 for ISA Server intrusion detection system for integration with ISA Server.

You can download ISA Server 2000 Feature Pack 1 from the following Web site, where users will find documents that explain the new features.

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