SurfControl Joins The Antispam Appliance Race


The new e-mail filter box runs atop a hardened, customized version of Red Hat Linux and includes not only SurfControl's legacy antispam software, but a raft of other protection against viruses, worms and other threats, said Paris Trudeau, senior product marketing manager for the SurfControl, a U.K. company with U.S. headquarters in Scotts Valley, Calif. SurfControl licenses the antivirus component from McAfee but develops the rest of the software in house, Trudeau said.

SurfControl solution providers were jazzed about the new option. "Appliances are a booming market," said Rick Crane, president of Evolution, a Baltimore-based security specialist. "Customers like that they're easy to install, all preconfigured, and they don't have to separately license all the software. And there's a belief that because they are customized and run on a locked-down operating system specific to the function, they're more secure."

Gavin Livingstone, president of Bryley Solutions, Hudson, Mass. concurred. "A lot of MIS guys like the idea of an appliance, so this is sweet," he said.

Industry analysts say e-mail and antispam appliances are a booming market already served by such players as CipherTrust and Ironport.

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SurfControl recently announced earnings and revenue up significantly from the year-ago period.

Spam has become such a menace that even cash-strapped IT departments continue to spend on technology to stem the flow. In a recent survey by The Radicati Group, 78 percent of respondents said the volume of unsolicited e-mail they receive grew 28 percent in the last six months.

SurfControl RiskFilter models range from the base E10 appliance supporting up to 500 users listing for $12,900; the E20 for up to 2,000 users at $26,000; and the E30 for up to 5,000 users at $49,000.