Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway
Strengths: Highly customisable and effective email content filtering capability
Weaknesses: Difficult-to-navigate web interface with too many categories
Verdict: A solid product that requires some effort to use and tolerance for a slightly higher price tag, especially for large organisations
By sitting at the gateway between the firewall and mail server the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway is able to monitor all incoming and outgoing mail closely for suspicious content or possible threats. The appliance uses the Proofpoint MLX engine, which provides ongoing learning to identify many types of spam and other potentially dangerous threats.
This product was easy to use and deploy. However, we found the web interface difficult to navigate as it is broken down into categories. While this makes the appliance very flexible, having so many categories can make finding exactly what you are looking for a cumbersome process.
This device protects against many types of dangerous content including spam, known and emerging viruses and connection-level attacks and hackers. It also provides a small default dictionary of offensive words that can be used for additional content filtering. Rules can be created to enforce compliance, both at the level of content as well as regulatory compliance standards.
The documentation for this product features a quick-start card and installation guide that work together in the initial setup and configuration of the appliance. Once the appliance web interface is reachable, an administration guide is available in PDF format. The admin guide is easy to understand and provides detailed configuration instructions.
Support, maintenance and updates are included in the subscription price. The core "Gold" support package features two named support contacts covering office hours in US time zones. Also included is the Proofpoint Dynamic Update Service, which covers all operating systems and software upgrades, plus the spam detection module, virus protection signature, zero-hour anti-virus and the regulatory compliance dictionary. "Platinum" level support, which provides 24/7 support access and additional named support contacts, is available for an additional eight per cent of the software licence cost.
The product is priced as a one-time fee for the appliance hardware, which for the P800 includes the vendor's email firewall and content compliance modules, as well as a software subscription to Proofpoint's modular messaging security services, which is worked out on a per-user, per-year basis. While the price for the appliance itself may seem like a bargain, for a large enterprise this device can become a major investment.