Free antispam appliance on tap from Clearswift

Available to existing customers for free.

In a move that illustrates the growing importance of data-leak protection and the commoditization of antispam technology, Clearswift announced a gateway antispam appliance that will be available to existing customers for free.

MIMEsweeper for SMTP Edge Server, available now, sits at the edge of a company's network and includes spam, virus and malware protection, as well as message encryption, says Alyn Hockey, director of product management for Clearswift. The company is making this appliance available free of charge to existing customers of its MIMEsweeper for SMTP product to act as a gateway layer of defense against e-mail threats for customers using Clearswift's antispam technology at the mail-server level.

"It's a hands-free firewall that we're offering for free so people can stop talking about spam and get on with it," Hockey says. The company hopes customers will evaluate its products based on their data-leak protection and content-monitoring features, knowing that the e-mail security aspects are already covered, he says.

Recent spam techniques, such as PDF spam, which flooded in-boxes this summer and evaded antispam technologies, took the attention of e-mail security vendors and their customers away from such strategic issues as compliance to chase unwanted e-mail.

"Spam in PDF format broke just about everybody's antispam protection, so that causes us as an industry to suddenly have to focus on spam again," he says. "We really don't think it should be the job of the IT person to sit there and read everyone's e-mail."

Taking the antispam feature-for-feature race out of the equation for Clearswift also allows the company to focus on more strategic issues, Hockey adds.

"As spam mutates every couple of months, customers move to competitors, and there's a huge amount of churn; we don't want to play in that space anymore," he says. "Our software becomes of higher value when it doesn't have to deal with spam," because those functions will now be handled by the edge appliance.

With the addition of MIMEsweeper for SMTP Edge Server to an organization's infrastructure, unwanted messages are stopped at the edge, therefore making the network operate faster and freeing up storage space otherwise eaten up by spam, Hockey says. This also allows for Clearswift's MIMEsweeper Policy Servers to sit inside the network and focus only on processing clean e-mail, preventing data leaks and enforcing policies, he adds.

MIMEsweeper for SMTP Edge Server uses e-mail reputation services, spam filters and grey lists to catch unwanted messages before they enter the network, Hockey says. Customers can also opt to encrypt outbound messages using TLS, and users have the option of purchasing Kaspersky's Anti-virus as a separate module.

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