Outsourced, or perimeter-based, message management services are designed to ensure the integrity and security of e-mail before it enters corporate network infrastructures, without scalability worries.Companies need a reliable way to secure their messaging infrastructure from the negative financial and productivity effects of\u00a0spam,\u00a0viruses\u00a0and network outages. Today, they have two primary options: Install, maintain and manage an internal solution, or outsource the\u00a0management \u00a0of their e-mail infrastructure to a managed service provider.Premises-based, or in-house, message management requires that internal IT departments spend time and money to combat spam and viruses. Building and then scaling the solution is limited by budget constraints, and capacity planning is extremely difficult because of the unpredictable volume and impact of spam and virus threats. Furthermore, with an in-house e-mail\u00a0security \u00a0system, IT professionals bear sole responsibility for maintaining infrastructure, installing and updating spam filters and virus definitions, and enforcing policy. The other side by Paul Judge Face-off forum Debate the issue with Nadir and Judge. By comparison, outsourced, or perimeter-based, message management services are designed to ensure the integrity and security of e-mail before it enters corporate network infrastructures, without scalability worries. The service delivery model requires no capital outlay, and covers all maintenance and upgrade responsibilities and costs.\u00a0Outsourcing \u00a0provides companies with protection that is up to date and available 24-7, even as new spam and virus techniques are introduced. And in the event of a major outage, managed service providers can securely queue e-mail in multiple locations and resume delivery as soon as the local network and servers are operational.Outsourcing e-mail security for external Internet e-mail is no more risky than "outsourcing" overnight packages to a delivery service such as FedEx or UPS. Yet, no company seriously contemplates bringing package delivery "in-house" and taking on a fleet of jets and delivery personnel.Some managed e-mail security providers layer on more security via encryption (using protocols such as\u00a0Transport Layer Security ) than the e-mail would have if it were delivered without a security provider.For network managers, the decision to outsource any function is based on the interplay of three primary criteria: control, performance and cost containment. Managed e-mail services provide IT managers with the control they require, and remove the administrative overhead of managing and scaling the system. Performance is guaranteed by service-level agreements that deliver more than 99.999% reliability. And finally, with managed services, costs remain fixed over time.Spam is more than a time-consuming annoyance, and its presence threatens productivity and jeopardizes business goals. Managed e-mail service providers are the answer to e-mail security because they block viruses and spam before they enter a company's network with little to no administrative effort required by an already overtaxed IT department.Nadir is vice president of product management for FrontBridge Technologies, an enterprise message management services provider in Marina del Rey, Calif. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.