Features Microsoft ISA Server 2004
Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 is a popular legacy application-layer firewall, virtual private network (VPN), and Web cache solution that enables customers to maximize existing IT investments by improving network security and performance.

ISA Server 2004 provides protection, ease of use, and fast and secure access for all types of networks. It is particularly well suited for protecting networks that are running Microsoft applications, such as Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), Microsoft Internet Information Services, SharePoint Server, Routing and Remote Access Service, Active Directory service, and others.

ISA Server 2004 contains a full-featured, application-layer-aware firewall that helps protect organizations of all sizes from attack by both external and internal threats. ISA Server 2004 performs deep inspection of Internet protocols such as HTTP, which enables it to uncover many threats that traditional firewalls cannot detect. The integrated firewall and VPN architecture of ISA Server support stateful filtering and inspection of all VPN traffic. The firewall also provides VPN client inspection for Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based quarantine solutions, helping to protect networks from attacks that enter through a VPN connection.

Microsoft ISA Server 2004 includes powerful management tools to simplify critical processes including policy definition, traffic routing, server publishing, and web security monitoring. ISA Server 2004 builds on Windows Server 2003 security, directory, virtual private networking (VPN), and bandwidth control. The firewall and cache can be deployed on their own dedicated servers or integrated on the same physical computer. In either configuration, ISA Server can block network threats, enforce consistent Internet usage policy, accelerate Internet access, and improve employee productivity.

Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you maintain and troubleshoot your ISA Server 2004 environment or assist you to plan and execute a smooth upgrade to Microsoft Threat Management Gateway 2010, which incorporates ISA Server technology and replaces the ISA Server product family.

Benefits of Microsoft ISA Server 2004
Key benefits that set Microsoft ISA Server 2004 over ISA Server 2000 and other previous firewall solutions include its enhanced protection capabilities, ease of use, and ability to provide fast and secure Internet access.

  • Fast and Secure Access with VPN Support
    ISA Server VPN ConsultantsISA Server 2004 provides fast and secure Internet access by integrating VPN functionality into the firewall architecture, accelerating Web caching, and maximizing firewall filtering speeds. Built-in IPsec tunnel mode support for site-to-site VPN connections makes it easy to connect ISA Server 2004 to branch office VPN providers. IPsec tunnel mode support also provides deep VPN client inspection and firewall policy support for Windows-based quarantine solutions, helping to make your company's user communities more secure. Support for third-party filters and a comprehensive software development kit (SDK) further extend the capabilities of ISA Server.

  • Enhanced Protection
    ISA Server 2004 is designed to protect your business from malicious attacks by providing stateful packet filtering and circuit filtering. Stateful packet filtering determines which packets will be allowed to pass through to the secured network circuit and application-layer proxy services. This filtering dynamically opens ports only as needed and then closes the ports when the communication ends. Circuit filtering provides application-transparent circuit gateways for multiplatform access to Windows Media technologies, Telnet, RealAudio, IRC, and other Internet protocols and services. The circuit-layer security of ISA Server 2004 works with dynamic packet filtering to enhance security and ease of use.

    In addition to stateful packet and circuit filtering, ISA Server 2004 also controls application-specific traffic with application, command, and data-aware filters. Through intelligent filtering of VPN, HTTP, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), Domain Name System (DNS), H.323 conferencing, streaming media, and remote procedure call (RPC) traffic, ISA Server can accept, reject, redirect, and modify traffic based upon its contents.

  • Ease of Use
    ISA Server 2004 is flexible and easy for administrators to control. It includes multinetworking architecture capabilities, unified VPN, and firewall management through a robust visual policy editor, intuitive network templates, automated wizards, and enhanced troubleshooting tools. ISA Server 2004 also simplifies firewall setup by automatically installing both firewall and Web-caching components. In addition, it supports exporting configuration information to Extensible Markup Language (XML), real-time firewall session monitoring, and firewall user groups.

Key Features of ISA Server 2004
ISA Server 2004 includes many features and improvements over previous firewall solutions, particularly when installed on a system running Windows Server 2003. These include:

  • A simpler user interface
  • Support for multiple networks
  • Better VPN support
  • VPN quarantine capabilities
  • Ability to create custom firewall user groups
  • More extensive protocol support
  • Customized protocol definitions
  • OWA Publishing Wizard
  • Improved support for FTP upload/download policy
  • Improved Web publishing
  • Port redirection for server publishing rules
  • Improved cache rules for centralized object storage
  • Path mapping for Web publishing rules
  • RADIUS support for Web proxy client authentication
  • Delegation of basic authentication
  • SecurID authentication
  • Firewall-generated forms (forms-based authentication)
  • Improved SMTP Message Screener
  • Improved HTTP filtering
  • Link translation
  • Improved monitoring and reporting

How Progent's Consultants Provide Microsoft ISA Server 2004 Help
Firewalls and security rules are complicated to plan and configure in a way that is optimized for your business. Excessive restrictions can impede workflow and hinder productivity, but security that is too loose leaves your system open to malicious hackers and viruses.

Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants have extensive experience developing Microsoft-based security solutions for IT networks with multiple sites, remote workers, and mission-critical eCommerce applications. Progent can give your company access to a security expert who can help you configure ISA Server 2004 so that it supports your business requirements without adversely restricting your network. Progent's experts can also show you how to design and implement a smooth Forefront TMG 2010 migration from ISA Server 2004 so your business can benefit from Microsoft's latest firewall technology.

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about consulting expertise for Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 or Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 integration, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

Progent's Consulting Services for Microsoft Server Products
For small companies across the United States, Progent's Microsoft-certified experts can provide computer assistance and IT consulting services for the whole array of Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers and Microsoft Windows Servers. Progent's planning, installation, optimization, and consulting services cover network architecture, configuration, and administration help for project management and documentation, local and remote IT help and network diagnosis, Standard Call Center Support or Shared Help Desk Call Center Support, certified security consulting, full-service outsourcing, and ProSight Virtual Hosting services.

In case your company needs immediate remote support from a Microsoft certified consultant, refer to Progent's Emergency Online Network Support.

Find out more concerning Progent's Support Services for Microsoft Server Technology.



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