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IAG SP2: Securely Publishing Dynamics CRM 4.0

IAG

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) Service Pack 2 (SP2) which includes a number of key enhancements, including a new application optimizer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. IAG has always viewed CRM as an important scenario, and we feel confident that this update will help you protect your CRM deployments.

CRM is an application that most organizations want to make available to their remote employees and business partners. However, the CRM application can also contain extremely sensitive information. As a result, it is important to pay special attention to the related security issues, including a means of protecting the CRM server and preventing unattended information leakage. IAG SP2 provides built-in support for all of these requirements – specifically adapted for Dynamics CRM 4.0. SP2 also enhances the overall administrator experience.

Using the new SP2 application optimizer to publish a Dynamics CRM 4.0 deployment automatically:

  • Prevents file downloads from unhealthy or unmanaged machines
  • Prevents uploads for machines that aren’t running an anti-virus
  • Controls who can export CRM data to Excel, and from which devices
  • Cleans the user’s cache and temporary files after a session ends (e.g. if your CEO used “export to Excel” from an Internet kiosk…)
  • Adds timeout and logoff functionality to reduce the risk of session hijacking
  • Provides strong authentication to CRM servers (for example, smartcards and one-time passwords)
  • Supports ADFS
  • Provides single sign on (SSO) to and from the CRM server to any other application published by IAG
  • Forwards only valid HTTP requests to back-end servers

Other than all of that, the sheer fact that the CRM server is separated at the application level from external users protects it from most malicious attacks.

As always, the IAG team performed extensive testing on Dynamics CRM 4.0 behind IAG to ensure that SP2 doesn’t break any CRM functionality, or harm performance..

Removing the barriers of making CRM accessible from the Internet unlock new and exciting models that can leverage the current CRM deployments which:

  • Allows secured access from unmanaged machines such as the employees home PCs, Internet kiosks and mobile devices.
  • Lets your business partners access a subset of the CRM functionality so they could update their work without need for employee intermediation. IAG would take care on the authentication (such as when using ADFS) and make sure that partners cannot access sensitive parts or perform actions like export to Microsoft Excel. For example if a subcontractor is providing service for all your customers in a specific region you could allow its employees to access contacts and service for their customers but block them from viewing contracts, quotes, marketing or upload files.

At the upcoming Convergence conference in Copenhagen we will provide more details about such deployment.

Cheers,

Meir Mendelovich, IAG Product Group

Jim Toland, Dynamics CRM Engineering for Enterprise team

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