Product Information

SurfControl E-mail Filter

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March 23, 2004
Price

$18 per user based on 500 users

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstarstarstar
  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
    starstarstar
  • Documentation:
    starstarstar
  • Support:
    starstarstar
  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
    starstarstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    : Highly configurable and customizable with a very granular approach to content policies.

  • Weaknesses:

    : No rules configuration wizard.

  • Verdict:

    : A good comprehensive email content-filtering solution that is particularly effective at dealing with spam and viruses.

This product provides a content-filtering SMTP gateway on the Windows 2000/2003 Server operating system. It can share a server with other applications, but a dedicated server is recommended. It is available as a plug-in for Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and 2000, which can then police internal emails. It has open relay protection.

Anti-virus is provided by SurfControl's Anti-Virus Agent engine, powered by McAfee's software. Other third-party anti-virus scanners may be configured to work with the E-mail Filter rules.

Anti-spam facilities use SurfControl's AntiSpam Agent, which scans messages using a database of spam mail content. Automated updating of this database from SurfControl's website may be configured in the Scheduler. There are other content-filtering features, including html stripping to remove potentially dangerous html scripts and an image analyzer to detect pornographic images. Attachments may be removed according to file type and encrypted content can be blocked.

LexiMatch is a lexical analysis component that is highly configurable to search for specific types of message content using Boolean operators and includes the ability to detect selected words in proximity to each other (the proximity distance is user-definable). This can be used to customize the spam filtering or to identify messages containing proprietary data. There is also another tool aimed at "learning" what a company regards as confidential or proprietary. Other "inappropriate" content may be blocked selectively by category. Disclaimers, footers and banners might be enforced on outgoing mail.

Realtime blackhole lists (RBLs) and reverse DNS lookup are supported to block spam. The rules-based filtering system is granular, and supports time and bandwidth restrictions plus your own white/ blacklists. You can create and enforce a policy by editing the rules.

Installation is easy and relatively intuitive with drag and drop. It would benefit from a rules wizard to ensure that new administrators don't miss anything during the process of initial configuration. Traffic monitoring and reporting are good, with secure remote management being supported.

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