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As expected, Ballmer's opening keynote included several references to security as the software giant's ''number one priority'' and the announcement of Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 2.0, a security-centric tool upgrade that uses the latest Web services protocol specs.
''Security is job number one. The issues you are having [with malicious hackers] are unacceptable,'' Ballmer declared. ''Unfortunately, there is no easy way to deal with it. There is no way to snap our fingers and make it all go away but I want to make it clear that, from top to bottom, security is the number one priority.''
In the midst of Ballmer's assurances, Redmond released a complete overview of the features of the Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2004 which will feature support for unlimited multiple networks and enhanced VPN filtering.
The ISA Server upgrade, which powers the filtering and inspection of all VPN traffic, has also been tweaked to offer VPN client inspection for Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based quarantine services.
It features a brand-new user interface and upgraded wizards, templates and management tools to help administrators avoid common security configuration errors.
When installed on a system running Windows Server 2003, Microsoft said the ISA Server 2004 would offer the ability to create custom firewall user groups, extensive protocol support and improved support for FTP upload/ download policy and Web publishing.