by John Edwards

Blocking Spam and Viruses

Feb 15, 20042 mins
Risk Management

Integrated security gateway (ISG) vendors have two good, if not exactly trusted, friends: virus authors and spammers. Even CIOs who are content to leave network security to dedicated products may want to take a more integrated approach to e-mail threats.

The growing volume of viruses and spam, as well as the failure of client-level security tools to deal with these problems effectively, are what drove Dave Garrett, CIO of Baptist Health Care, to adopt centralized and integrated e-mail security countermeasures. “We tried a few different desktop tools,” says Garrett. “They did the job OK, but the maintenance?keeping them up-to-date and all that?was just a phenomenal exercise.”

Garrett, who uses CipherTrust’s IronMail system, says the product’s impact on his network?which receives an average of 4,000 external e-mails daily?was immediate. “We’re snagging about 1,500 spam messages a day,” he says.

The technology also provides encryption, security policy management and virus roadblock functions. Centralized administration means that threats can be handled without requiring end users to take any action.

Jason Sosinski, security administrator for American Residential Services, a national home improvement services provider, uses BorderWare MXtreme technology to divert spam from his network’s 2,500 e-mail users. Two units serve as gateways to the company’s mail servers. “[In October 2003], we processed 1.5 million e-mails,” says Sosinski. “Of those, 48 percent were identified as unsolicited bulk e-mail.” MXtreme also protects against viruses, worms and denial-of-service attacks.

Like Garrett, Sosinski appreciates the technology’s centralized approach to e-mail threat management. “We spend less than five minutes a day on administration tasks,” he says.