SurfControl's New Look

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 also a raft of protection against viruses, worms and other threats, said Paris Trudeau, senior product marketing manager at 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 Systems, Hudson, Mass., concurred. "A lot of MIS [management information services] guys like the idea of an appliance, so this is sweet," he said.

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

Sponsored post

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 past 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.