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RE: ISA server
From: "Jacob Loveless" <jacob.loveless () datascientific com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 14:46:08 -0500


I grew up on Linux, still love it.
I work as a government penetration specialist
I hate Microsoft Security (or lack there-of)


ISA is a great product, no way around it: there is nothing wrong with the ISA security platform. Like most firewalls 
the major problem is configuration errors. The simple Microsoft Style of Point and Click Configuration allows for 
better firewall implementations: thereby making better security. ISA is easy to update, has built in IDS modules (such 
as ISS contributed DNS modules and add-on) as well as reverse proxy (performance is beyond comparison to Apache), VPN, 
support for load balancing, caching mechanisms, IPsec... Everything you need to implement as baseline perimeter 
security platform.

Unlike many Microsoft Servers, ISA is built in cooperation with other security companies (ISS, Foundstone, @stake to 
name a few). These companies are paid to make ISA secure. ISA is backed by Microsoft R&D money (see Bill Gate's comment 
at COMDEX yesterday about ISA 2004).

I would recommend using ISA on windows 2003: much better performance and support for Insect enabled connections in 
conjunction with NLB.

Also of note:

ISA server clusters protect a large portion of the United States Department of Defense Networks (USMC, NAVY, VA, VHA)   
where DoD security professionals have proved time and time again its effectiveness: integrated IDS systems into         
it (Navy SHADOW), Added Smartcard VPN support and RADIUS integration to CISCO products....)
ISA server is the perimeter security system for Microsoft Houston Development Team
ISA Server on Windows 2000 operates at an interim C2 level
ISA Server Clusters have been tested by government organizations for extreamly large multi-input firewalls as a 
response to Ddos attacks. Preliminary results show that ISA on windows 2003 scales and responds better than 3 other 
solutions (Cisco, A Scyld Based IPTables/Apache Beowulf Solution, In house secure-linux (Gentoo) HPC cluster)

Just my 2 cents

Jacob Loveless
Chief Security Architect
Data Scientific Corporation

-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Owens [mailto:greg.l.owens () verizon net] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 1:39 PM
To: David Lanagan; security-basics () securityfocus com

I do not like it.  I do not understand how anyone can use Microsoft as a security solution.  Norton and MacAfee have 
made billions off Microsoft attacks, yet people still want to use it as a Security Solution.  People sit home and find 
ways to hack it, yet people still want to use it as a Security Solution.  I do not understand.

From: "David Lanagan" <DLanagan () sterlinginsurancegroup com>
Date: 2003/11/18 Tue AM 07:22:29 EST
To: <security-basics () securityfocus com>
Subject: ISA server

  I'm looking for a good quality proxy product.  I've got 2 Internet links in 2 sites (connected via WAN) and I want 
a product that will act as a proxy for each site but also allow the clients to go from one to the other in the event 
of failure.  I know that ISA server does this as part of a Proxy array but the enterprise version is something liek 
£4.5k a piece!!  Way to expensive when I'm not using the firewall side of it!
  Talking of which, second question.... how do you rate ISA server as a whole?

Thanks for your help in advance!


Dave Lanagan
Lead  - Infrastructure Development
Tel: 020 8334 1548
Fax: 020 8948 0161
Mail: dlanagan () sterlinginsurancegroup com

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