Strengths: Granular, enterprise-based administration. Excellent anti-spam
Weaknesses: Interface can be cryptic. No pre-defined content filtering templates
Verdict: A solid product - if administrators don't mind having to construct rules and templates manually
Fortinet's FortiMail-400B is a hardware appliance that secures inbound and outbound email messages and is marketed more towards the medium-sized business market. The appliance can be used in transparent mode or as the primary email server within the organisation. The solution is mostly focused on blocking malicious attacks and unsolicited mail through anti-malware and anti-spam mechanisms, but also contains content-based filtering.
Initial setup came with one small hiccup. Although we were pleasantly surprised to see multiple setup options (shell, web, front panel of the device), the documentation did not disclose the actual URL path needed to set up the appliance correctly. Once this was resolved, configuration was easy.
Users who have Fortinet's other product offerings will notice a familiar look and feel to the interface. Many of the screens appear to be based on those in its firewall line of products. The interface and setup of core features is much less user-friendly and takes a longer learning curve than we'd like. Although some of the naming conventions for various options can be a bit cryptic, the appliance has several powerful administrative features that will satisfy the demands of many enterprise environments (high availability, health monitoring, SNMP, syslog, archiving etc).
The anti-spam features are excellent and even include a mobile reputation score based on MSISDN. Other features include anti-malware, IP reputation validation and a web-based remote authentication module for external users to access corporate email. The appliance can scan content for keywords and regular expressions, but those filters have to be configured from scratch, as the appliance does not come with any pre-defined templates.
We found the documentation to be interesting. The file names of the off-line documentation are cryptic, but the content is excellent and thorough.
The product comes with no-cost support for 90 days. After this, one year of 8/5 phone and email support is about £405; 24/7 support for one year is about £810. The Fortinet website has a dedicated customer support section with knowledgebase and FAQs.