Who Can You Trust to Help You Secure and Manage Your Microsoft IT Infrastructure?

Published: July 11, 2007


By Mark Hassall
Director, Microsoft Security Product Management

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IT professionals face an increasingly complex array of challenges. Security issues, privacy concerns, and regulatory compliance requirements are making security solution projects a top IT priority in organizations across all industries. However, the proliferation of data, systems, and applications on a variety of different devices, and the increased demand from employees for anytime/anywhere access to corporate assets makes it challenging to safeguard the enterprise against a constantly evolving threat landscape. In addition, the requirements for regulatory compliance and the ever-present need to squeeze more value from existing solutions makes it challenging to secure your infrastructure while reducing costs and delivering a high level of service.

IT environments are often complex, with a myriad of management, monitoring, and reporting tools and processes, some industry-specific and some not. Maintaining this requires expertise across multiple specialties—and it often requires solutions and services provided by specialists. The question becomes: which partners can you trust to help you secure and manage your IT infrastructure?

Microsoft Security Solutions Competency Partners: Your Trusted IT Advisors

Part of the Microsoft® Partner Program, Microsoft Competencies recognize a certain level of expertise within a given technical and/or business area. Microsoft Competencies make it easier for you to find a partner with in-depth technical skills and a proven specialization.

Each competency is designed around a specific group of solutions that Microsoft partners deliver to customers. Partners that have achieved the Microsoft Security Solutions competency have proven their proficiency in using Microsoft technology to provide security solutions that help protect information assets related to security management, compliance, and operations. To attain the Security Solutions competency, partners must employ at least one individual who has achieved the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) for Security certification or a third-party industry certification, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) from ISC2, or the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), as well as another individual who has achieved a specific Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification. In addition, Security Solutions competency partners are able to provide customer references proving that they have delivered specific solutions and services.

Security Solutions partners can help organizations of all sizes across all industries enhance security, increase reliability, and simplify administration. Within the Security Solutions competency there are two specializations—Security Management and Infrastructure Security—that focus on specific solution areas and recognize deeper expertise. Partners with Security Management specialization focus on developing security strategies, governance, policies, procedures, risk assessments, and risk management, while providing overall security management services. Partners with Infrastructure Security specialization offer security services that enhance the security of Microsoft environments and network infrastructure—including servers, clients, embedded operating systems, and mobility and network solutions.

Changes to the Security Solutions Competency Reflect the Convergence of Security and Management

The existing Security Management and Infrastructure Security specializations will be replaced in October 2007 with two new specializations: Secure Infrastructure and Identity and Secure Access. These new specializations have been designed to better align the skills and expertise of partners with the Microsoft Forefront™ and Microsoft Identity and Access family of security solutions, and to prepare partners for the integration of security and management. The MCP certifications required to attain the Secure Infrastructure and Identity and Secure Access specializations will be updated as well, so partners who enroll in the Security Solutions competency will be required to have engineers who are certified on Microsoft Forefront or Microsoft Identity and Access. Partners that have attained the new Security Solutions specializations will also have access to exclusive training and content that will enhance their expertise in building advanced security solutions to help protect your information assets. For example, partners will be able to leverage a new Security Service Kit with resources that will help them implement pilot Microsoft Forefront Client Security solutions.

How to Find Partners with Specializations in Security

Partners who have achieved the Security Solutions competency have proven expertise in designing, deploying, and customizing security solutions that use Microsoft products and technologies. Their experience in addressing the changing landscape of security threats and compliance demands can complement your own knowledge and skills, benefitting you and your organization.

To find partners that have acquired the Security Solutions competency and attained specific specializations go to https://solutionfinder.microsoft.com/ and select Advanced Search, where you can search by geography, industry, vertical focus, product specialization, and other categories. Regardless of your company’s size or industry focus, Microsoft Competencies can help you find the right partner and the right level of expertise to meet your most demanding security needs.