• United States
Senior Editor, Network World

E-mail security gateways coming

Nov 18, 20023 mins

New, upgraded offerings take aim at viruses, spam.

A handful of vendors this week are scheduled to announce gateways designed to frisk incoming e-mail for viruses, inappropriate content or spam.

A handful of vendors this week are scheduled to announce gateways designed to frisk incoming e-mail for viruses, inappropriate content or spam.

The new and revised devices, which offer an alternative to plunking security features onto busy e-mail servers, include:

• BorderWare’s MXtreme Mail Firewall, which has new ways to filter unwanted spam via source addresses, while adding a way to stop potential exploits of cookies used in Microsoft Outlook Express, the Web browser access to corporate e-mail, when the Outlook e-mail client isn’t used.

• CipherTrust’s IronMail, which now has a console for administering five or more gateways designed to handle spam, security alerts, antivirus protection and content filtering.

• Finjan Software’s SurfinGate 7.0 for Email, which now will include McAfee antivirus scanning along with Finjan’s technology for content scanning, antispam, and a new feature, watermarking. Watermarking, which creates a digital representation of documents flowing through SurfinGate, lets people check information in the header of a document to determine whether tampering has occurred.

The companies say their gateways are an improvement over adding security directly to mail servers, which are already busy handling ever-growing volumes of mail. These vendors are competing with one another and with larger security companies such as Symantec and Network Associates, which offer gateway appliances as well as antivirus and content-filtering software for mail servers.

McAfee Security, a division of Network Associates, sells an appliance called WebShield for antivirus and content protection for e-mail, but also has GroupShield, software that can run on the mail server. This week McAfee is scheduled to announce a version of GroupShield for Lotus/Notes Domino, that will cost about $31 for 251 to 500 users, but less for larger installations and second-year licenses. McAfee already sells GroupShield for Microsoft Exchange.

The University of St. Louis is among the organizations for which an e-mail security appliance made sense. The school maintains an older VMS-based mail application called PMDF from Process Software, and had a difficult time finding content-filtering or antivirus software to run on the system, says Austin Winkelman, director of client and system IT.

The school now uses two CipherTrust gateways to weed out what has become a torrent of spam directed at campus staff and students. “I’d estimate that one-third to one-half of all messages now are spam,” he says. Without the gateways filtering spam, the university probably would need to add more network bandwidth.

Lighter load

Geared for companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees, IBM’s Express line features smaller price tags and easier administration than its full-scale offerings.
Product What’s new Price
WebSphere Application Server — Express Bundles a Web application server with development tools and templates for  projects such as building an electronic catalog.

Starts at $25 per user.

WebSphere Portal — Express Requires only one server and can be installed in five clicks, according to IBM. Starts at $77 per user.
WebSphere Business Connection —Express Links a midsize company’s systems with those of its business partners so the companies can perform tasks such as collaborative design and supply chain automation. Starts at $5,000 per server for 10 connections.
DB2—Express Due out in early 2003, will include remote database-administrator technology so companies can reduce their on-site support requirements, IBM says. Starts at $1,000 per server.