IronPort Brings Big E-Mail Tools To SMBs

The company on Monday rolled out its new C10 messaging gateway, an all-in-one appliance which uses IronPort's four-layer e-mail filtering system to protect the mail servers of SMBs from unwanted or malicious messages that make it past the firewall, said Jim Hyman,director of channel sales at IronPort, based in San Bruno, Calif.

Designed for businesses with fewer than 250 e-mail users, the C10 sits right between the firewall and the mail server--be it Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, etc.--and essentially combs incoming e-mail traffic for spam, viruses and business-sensitive data flowing in or out of the organization, Hyman said. Capable of processing 200 e-mails a second, the C10 provides a complete, rack-mounted hardware and software package that can be customized to an individual company's e-mail policies.

With the C10, e-mails are quickly scrutinized in four ways. First, a "reputation filter" is engaged to analyze the history of a particular e-mail sender, identifying if previous e-mails from the sender were allowed in or shut out. Then the C10 scans e-mails for specific content such as words like "resume," or strings of account numbers or pass codes, which the C10 can be programmed to flag and forward to HR or legal. A spam filter licensed from IronPort partner Brightmail makes up the third stage of protection within the C10. Then virus protection software licensed from partner Sophos inspects e-mails before forwarding accepted messages on to the server, explained Hyman.

The C10 is the only solution of its type that will be offered to SMB customers of CG Atlantic, a Manhattan-based IronPort channel partner. "Most companies have security, most companies have defenses in place. What they may not be up to speed on is the perimeter defense, a mutilayer security approach [like IronPort's]," said Bob Cohen, president and CEO of CG Atlantic.

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IronPort's effort with the C10 to court SMBs with the enterprise e-mail technology found in its flagship C60 product is by no means a matter of security overkill, said Phebe Waterfield, a security solutions analyst with the Yankee Group. "Smaller enterprises often can't afford solutions as sophisticated as those aimed at larger enterprises. However, SMBs managing their own IT have exactly the same security needs, just on a smaller scale," Waterfield said.

Available exclusively through the channel, the C10 starts at $9,950 for a one-year license for 250 e-mail seats, with annual renewals at $4,000, Hyman said. Third-party licensing and support for the integrated Brightmail and Sophos software are included, he said.