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Email Content Security: Software or Appliance?

Keeping your corporate email safe

Corporate email is vulnerable. Vulnerable to attack from the increasingly sophisticated and ever-growing number of viruses, spam, spyware and phishing technologies out there. And vulnerable to abuse from within, which could result in: acceptable use policies being compromised; corporate governance and regulatory compliance violations; confidential corporate data being leaked externally.

A plethora of email content security technologies has emerged in recent years to address such vulnerabilities. Today, these technologies are considered essential elements of any business email and IT network environment and are commonly referred to as email content security gateways. Companies currently have the choice of two major types of email content security solution: software or appliances. Software solutions have been available for about ten years, while appliances appeared on the market approximately five years ago. Appliances are purpose-specific email content security servers, typically based on industry-standard server hardware and running a security-hardened Unix/Linux OS to provide the platform for the mail-screening software.

This whitepaper looks at the requirements for gateway email content security solutions, and explores popular claims about appliance solutions, examining the inherent weaknesses that are now becoming apparent to appliance customers. It also compares the strengths and weaknesses of appliances against Marshal’s market-leading email content security software, MailMarshal SMTP 2006.

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