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Spammers, Beware

It's that time of year again, the CRN Test Center's antispam roundup. There certainly is no shortage of antispam products. Although many antispam products are bundled in Unified Threat appliances there are some products that are dedicated solely to combating spam. Here are our picks for some of the latest products in this highly competitive market space.

Sendio E-Mail System Protection 5 (ESP 5)

The ESP 5 is an upgraded version of Sendio's enterprise antispam solution, the ESP 365. Sendio traditionally has incorporated into this line of products alternate technology that does a better job at catching spam than conventional filtering methods employed by other antispam solutions.

That technology is Contact Checking. This allows organizations to build a list of community e-mail contacts. This enables the guaranteed delivery of legitimate and spam-free e-mail messages from users in the community. Administrators can also import an existing list of contacts from an address list or database. Users can import existing e-mail addresses from address books. New users get added automatically to a user's community when sending e-mail without the interaction of users or IT.

There are a host of new features in this upgrade: Option Auto Accept -- which allows only the entry of compliant list and newsgroup messages; Message journaling -- designed to integrate with third-party archiving and eDiscovery solutions; Advanced Cluster Management; and Advanced Queue Summary.

The ESP 5 is fairly simple to get up and running. Just connect it into the network switch behind the corporate firewall. You then just set appropriate network parameters for your network including the IP addresses of any e-mail servers that will be directing SMTP traffic to the Sendio device.

SpamTitan

This is a really effective, software-based antispam solution. With SpamTitan, you can create a physical or virtual appliance that sits at a network's gateway. SpamTitan conducts inbound and outbound scanning and provides end users with spam management via quarantine reports. The product features a Web-based management interface and there are several in-the-box reports. SpamTitan, like many products in this space, also has an automatic update feature. The updating isn't just for antispam; it includes antivirus, version releases and system backup.

There are two versions: Spam Titan ISO and SpamTitan for VMware. The ISO version is a complete operating system plus the SpamTitan software suite. The second option runs on VMware and gives the full functionality and feature set as the first.

SpamTitan takes a layered approach in weeding out the spam from legitimate e-mail. This approach involves a number of components including Sender Policy Framework, Recipient verification, SURBL's (which are lists of URL hosts that have been found in unsolicited messages), Real Time Blackhole Lists, customized scoring algorithms and Bayesian analysis.

There is also a Content Filtering feature in which attachments can be blocked based on file or MIME type and can block renamed files.

The appliance can support an unlimited number of domains and can relay to an unlimited number of e-mail servers.

Red Condor

Red Condor's MAG line of appliances provides 99.99 percent spam block rates and near zero false positives. These devices are scalable from 500 up to 20,000 users, so there's a huge market potential for VARs.

Features include analysis of images into e-mails (a big workaround tactic for spammers), attachment blocking and outbound e-mail filtering. There is also some extensive network protection included in these appliances. For instance, there's DoS protection, sender/receipient reputation analysis and Directory Harvest protection. Directory Harvesting is a tactic spammers use to garner valid IP addresses in a domain by brute force attack. An impressive feature is the ability to detect aliases via SMTP and VRFY.

MAG appliances are straightforward to incorporate into a network infrastructure and require no changes on clients or servers. Once connected, the device performs automatic mailbox discovery.

These devices support redundant clustered operation and quarantine logs are stored on the device. Storage sizes depend on the model and range from 80 GB for the entry-class model up to 1 TB for the enterprise one.

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