• United States

Espion fights viruses and spam at chip level

Aug 12, 20042 mins
CPUs and ProcessorsEnterprise ApplicationsMalware

* Espion planning chip with AI to fight e-mail threats

Instead of relying on rules-based techniques to capture spam, Espion International has developed e-mail security products that use artificial intelligence to determine the content of incoming SMTP traffic and check it for spam.

The company claims the system learns about the content of an organization’s e-mail and learns how that organization defines spam. Espion’s technology also protects against a variety of other threats, including URL tampering, cross-site scripting and cookie modifications, and manages attachments through the use of blacklists and whitelists.

The company claims its predictive machine learning engine can identify more than 95% of spam without referring to any sort of rules-based engine.

Later this year, Espion will introduce a knowledge processor chip that can be integrated with network devices. This chip, which will use proprietary Espion data on spam, can be included as a front-end processor for a variety of other network devices as a sort of pre-processor for spam threats. Espion’s parent company, INTLX, will provide embedded knowledge processor technology for dealing with virus and spam threats as a part of this offering.

There are two advantages of using technology like Espion’s in an e-mail security infrastructure. First, because the technology can be embedded in network devices, spam and viruses can be pre-processed at the perimeter of the network in advance of other e-mail security applications. This means that much of the work for e-mail security applications can be offloaded to increase the overall efficiency of the system. Second, because Espion charges a flat fee for its offerings – there are no per-user fees – this is particularly advantageous for large organizations because the cost per user can be driven down to relatively low levels.