Symantec Tackles Twin Threat Of Spam & Virus

by Amit Tripathi    Apr 05, 2005

As the spam threat continues to top the priority list of every CIO, Symantec, the security major launched its most comprehensive e-mail security appliances targeted at enterprises in order to contain the twin threat of spam and virus.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Robert Pregnell, product marketing manager, secure content management, APAC, Symantec, said, “We have released the 8100 and 8200 series of security appliances which have been developed based on heuristics, self learning capabilities, and user tunability.”

Symantec Mail Security 8100 Series is designed to reduce and slow the inbound flow of spam traffic by over 50% before it enters the corporate network. The appliances can automatically control the flow of e-mail based on the sender’s actual behavior as well as reputation data from Symantec’s sender reputation service. Based on objective analysis of sending patterns at the network level, it is also designed to identify abusive senders and prevent them from sending spam into a protected network.

The appliances shape traffic at the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) level, prohibiting spammers from forcing mail into a protected network. This patent-pending TCP traffic shaping technology decreases the volume of inbound spam even as spammers increase the volume and intensity of their attacks. This unique approach actually stops spam on the spammers’ servers, rather than forcing an enterprise to receive and then either quarantine or discard the spam.

While 8100 is the traffic shaping anti spam solution targeted for use by ISPs and large enterprises, 8200 is aimed at smaller and medium enterprises. It incorporates Symantec Brightmail anti-spam and anti-virus technologies. In addition it also integrates volume management, attack prevention, content filtering, encryption, anti-forgery and archiving functionality into a single solution.

The 8200 series combines SMTP connection management and attack detection to reduce e-mail infrastructure costs by restricting connections from dangerous servers. It offers a set of automated and configurable connection management features that go into effect as soon as an incoming connection is detected. The solution can be automatically configured to block spam attacks, virus attacks, directory harvest attacks and connections from senders that have been identified as suspicious.

For many organizations, the growing spam problem is one of the most pressing issues faced today. Ishwar Jha, head - business technology, Zee Networks, said, “Spam is indeed a menace and can be rated as more dangerous than a virus as, apart from causing heavy downtime, it becomes a easy media for virus to check in. Moreover, it eats away huge bandwidth and thus causes heavy cost burden.”

But Pradeep Joshi, VP–IT, Greaves Ltd., differs from the view that spam is a greater menace than viruses. He says, “Spam might cause a lot of downtime but viruses corrupts the whole system and everything comes to a standstill. Since today’s viruses make spam as the media, it has thus become a necessity to tackle spam.”

According to Pregnell the 8200 series offering incorporates over 20 spam protection techniques to allow anti-spam effectiveness rate of 95% and over 99% accuracy rate against false positives (legitimate e-mail getting categorized as spam).

In order to accommodate varying license and performance needs, Symantec Mail Security 8200 Series appliances will be offered in two different models (8240 and 8260). Symantec Mail Security 8240 is targeted toward organizations of 100 to 1000 users, while 8260 is targeted towards organizations of more than 1000 users.

Tags: spam