Eight e-mail virus scanners tested

Stop MyDoom being your doom: 8 E-mail virus scanners tested

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Don't forget the alt TAG
With yet another high-profile e-mail virus having recently done the rounds, we look at eight mail-server plugins designed to make sure your servers don't take a beating the next time one comes along.


Facing a review of mail server antivirus packages, I feel like the air force guy in the old WWII movies. When his squadron is paraded in front of the head honcho who asks for a single volunteer to take a step forward to run a mission into enemy territory that will almost certainly end in death, everyone else in the line takes one step back and this poor schmuck is the only one who didn't think of doing that and is sent into the battle.

The server-based products in this case are those that scan both incoming and outgoing e-mail messages for an organisation. Nowadays it is a generally accepted fact of business life that many nasties find their way onto corporate networks via the e-mail system. Be it spam, worms, or viruses, each has its own way of potentially consuming and in some cases destroying valuable company resources -- either from the employees' time wasted deleting the unwanted messages through to viruses destroying data, consuming bandwidth, or compromising network security. Don't forget some worms not only self replicate but they can also contain malicious payloads set to launch immediately or lay dormant on your system waiting for specifically programmed trigger points such as application launches or dates to occour before launching.

The advent recently of faster and always-connected Internet links has led to an increase in these e-mail borne pests, enabling them to proliferate and replicate like never before. That combined with the plethora of tools available to download that enable script kiddies to get their hands on a particularly virulent outbreak, deconstruct it, and then reconstruct it with their own payload and release it doesn't help at all.

One of the best steps the humble network administrator can take to prevent this type of overwhelming attack from bringing the company to its knees is to install an antivirus (AV) application. We covered antivirus applications in November, however these were centralised server-based distribution platforms for individual client/server machine protection. The products in this review are more concerned with covering the e-mail server itself as a potential point for receiving and distributing these malicious applications.

So which does a company need: protection on each desktop or protection at the e-mail gateway point? The answer is both. These e-mail antivirus gateway applications are not trying to replace the existing methods of virus detection, quarantine, and removal, they are merely there to enhance the chances of a detection at the border before it enters the network as a whole. And with e-mail being the most economical and widespread method of distribution for these unwanted programs, it make sense to cover the point of incoming and outgoing mail. Malicious programs can still be introduced to the network either intentionally by a disgruntled employee or even unintentionally by employees via infected CD-ROMs, flash memory keys, or floppy disks, or even by the crafty hacker who has managed to discover a flaw in the network's security system. Individual local client/server antivirus applications are still recommended to run in conjunction with the products that we have on review here.

So why scan incoming e-mail if your desktops already have up-to-date AV definitions and applications installed on them?

The main reason for deploying an antivirus e-mail gateway application is that humans will always be humans. No matter how many times users are beaten about the head and threatened with written warnings for non-compliance with the e-mail usage policy, they still insist on opening attachments e-mailed to them from Aunty Lorna. They will still inevitably fall into the trap set that will result in a potential virus or worm outbreak.

Another reason is to allow the network administrators to monitor the potential e-mail virus traffic from a single point and enables them in most cases to quickly create policies/rules that can stop malicious data in its tracks. This is particularly advantageous when a new virus appears and the AV vendors haven't had time to update their definitions. The administrators can rely on their applied rules to assist in the control and containment of the virus and thereby reduce or remove any potential damage at that point.

Why scan outgoing e-mail, then? If not from a common point of courtesy that a company is doing its piece to reduce the spread and distribution of malicious applications, it also potentially saves money in reduced bandwidth by blocking these attachments going out in the first place.

It also enables you to save face as it protects you from being accused of allowing viruses to proliferate from your network to the outside world.

Antivirus applications will never pick up 100 percent of the viruses, worms, and Trojans that are out there, but administrators can make a big impact by being aware of how and why these malicious programs exist and then taking steps to stem the flow by putting in practical procedures to cope with these nasties. It may be as simple as deciding whether or not some employees need to receive executable files via e-mail attachment -- and then create a rule blocking e-mails containing *.exe attachments. Or at the very least stripping the attachment from the e-mail and letting the body go through (always considering the occasional false positive).

Clearswift MailSweeper 4.3 for SMTP

Clearswift MailSweeper 4.3 for SMTP
The installation is straightforward with two or three basic configuration questions to answer before the package is loaded. The server application can be installed separately from the management console which can be installed on another machine.

The right-hand window of the management console has shortcuts to wizards that allow the system administrator to complete the custom configuration of their new application, including adding licences, and information on adding third-party antivirus scanners.

The beauty of this application is that it has the ability to purchase and incorporate third-party developed antivirus support from F-Secure, Command, H+BEDV, and Sophos. Depending on what level of antivirus security you need, the package can scale without having to buy separate new applications.

Administration is via the same management console as the configuation. There is a very comprehensive reporting toolset provided under the main MailSweeper menu as well as excellent support for setting up policies and administrative alerts.

Overall a very neat and simple package with all the necessary custom configuration and administration tools well placed within the one interface.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product MAILsweeper for SMTP
Price From AU$2,423 for 50 users (approx $48 per user)
Vendor Clearswift
Phone 02 9424 1200
Web www.clearswift.com.au
 
Interoperability
Suports Exchange 2000 & 2003.
Futureproofing
Four engines supported.
ROI
Average price, but subscription to the engines is extra.
Service
Additional AU$606, or about $12 per user.
Rating
½

Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus Gateway 7.0

Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus Gateway 7.0
This program is separated into three basic modules: the first is the policy manager which allows the administrator to connect to the various gateways that have been defined and licenced within the organisation, configure and set up the policies, and then publish out to the intended gateway.

The second module is the command centre that allows the administrator to view a snapshot of any or all of the following: Object Information List, Gateway(s) status, and the System Administration Activities.

The third module is the audit viewer which allows the administrator to monitor what is going through the gateway that it is connected to and also filter that traffic report.

Overall it is a very scalable solution firmly aimed at larger organisations that have several e-mail gateways needing to be scanned. This application also fits into the larger Computer Associates eTrust product portfolio by allowing the company to operate in a similar environment for desktop, server, PDA, and groupware antivirus solutions as well as content management filters for gateways, thereby deploying a single vendor antivirus and content filter solution across the whole network.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product eTrust Secure Content Manager
Price US$55 per user (approx AU$75 per user)
Vendor Computer Associates
Phone www.ca.com/eTrust
Web 1800 22 4636
 
Interoperability
Supports all versions of Exchange and Notes/Domino.
Futureproofing
One integrated engine.
ROI
Most expensive at AU$75 per licence, but definition updates included for 12 months.
Service
Included for duration of subscription.
Rating

F-Secure Antivirus for Exchange 200x v6.21

F-Secure Antivirus for Exchange 200x v6.21
F-Secure is a total enterprise-wide antivirus application suite. On the CD which shipped with the package, we were confronted with F-Secure's entire armada of antivirus applications from Microsoft to Linux, and firewalls to PDAs, F-Secure has an AV application to cover it.

The configuration and monitoring is relatively straightforward for such a comprehensive package, and certainly nothing a relatively experienced administrator could not follow, particularly with the excellent support documentation. The menus are well laid out and the format is very logical making it a breeze to navigate to the desired point of tweaking.

The Download icon launches the F-Secure Infocentre that shows the operator the current status of updates to the definitions and any important monitor information in a graphical or text-based menu system which is also very easy to navigate.

Overall it is an amazingly configurable and customisable application that does not come with all the baggage usually associated with such applications. It is also very easy to install and look after and is certainly one to add to a shortlist, along with Computer Associates and Trend Micro if looking for a one-vendor company-wide antivirus solution across several platforms and operating systems.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product F-Secure Anti-Virus for Microsoft Exchange
Price AU$4,257 for 100 users (approx $43 per user)
Vendor Open Systems
Phone 02 6261 4900
Web www.opensystems.com.au
 
Interoperability
Suports Exchange 2000 & 2003.
Futureproofing
One integrated engine.
ROI
Average price, but includes definition updates for 12 months; continuing subscription costs are very reasonable.
Service
Included for duration of subscription.
Rating

GFI MailSecurity Gateway v8.1

GFI MailSecurity Gateway v8.1
After a straightforward installation, the remaining configuration and administration tasks are carried out in the GFI content security configuration window. This is a very comprehensive set of tools set out in a very logical manner allowing the administrator direct access to all the features in the package. Of particular note is the ability to purchase/subscribe to separate virus scanning engines and their associated virus definitions and updates. The vendors supported by this are, Norman, BitDefender, Kaspersky, and McAfee. Each can be set a priority in order of scanning the data moving through the system. Similar to the other systems with either multiple AV engines or automatic definition downloads, the GFI application allows the automatic download scheduling to be configured down to once every hour.

Also for the administrator is a simple GFI content security monitor which is a separate application that gives the operator the ability to monitor the log files and show the number of items processed, number of quarantined items, and number of blocked viruses. Below this is the text from the log file, showing date, time, and details of the logged event. There is also a comprehensive e-mail exploit engine and trojan/executable scanner.

The GFI solution with the option for multiple scan engines and their associated definitions is excellent. Certainly an application worthy of short listing for evaluation.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product GFI MailSecurity V8.1
Price AU$520 for 25 users, $3,555 for 500 users, $6195 for unlimited users (approx
Vendor GFI
Phone 1800 22 55 43
Web www.gfi.com
 
Interoperability
Supports all versions of Exchange.
Futureproofing
Four engines supported.
ROI
Cheapest solution, particularly unlimited-user version. Can work out to less than $7 per mailbox, plus subscription.
Service
Only three months included, after that 20 percent of yearly fee.
Rating

Netbox Micro

Netbox Micro
The Netbox is a hardware network appliance, not strictly a software application, however the software running on the Netbox is really the feature of the unit. The Netbox operates not only as a standalone mail server (with the antivirus scanning as an option), it can also function as a router, firewall, network traffic shaper, name server, and a myriad of other devices.

It is one of the more complete and fully featured appliances a company of up to 150 staff could want. Since the demise of Cobalt and its RAQ series of network appliance servers once consumed by Sun, we are interested to see a decent new appliance vendor on the block, and homegrown too.

Since the Netbox incorporates its own mail server (including Web mail capabilities as well as traditional POP3 and SMTP) the antivirus option is very straightforward. Following a similar concept to several of the other packages here, the NetBox combines several third-party AV vendors' products into a single machine. There are four altogether, Clam (standard), Eset's NOD32 (optional subscription), Network Associates' Virus Scan (optional subscription), and Computer Associates' Innoculate IT.

Each package is set to check for new definitions every six hours, however Netbox has a very nifty way of updating its registered NetBoxes in the field with new AV definitions within a few minutes of them being released. Netbox HQ monitors the AV vendors for new releases every three minutes or so and as soon as a new update is released, NetBox downloads the update and pushes it out to all the registered NetBoxes. Having the NetBoxes registered like this also allows NetBox HQ to provide a dynamic DNS service to its clients who are on ADSL, ISDN, or cable, even 56Kbps Internet services that don't have static IP addresses. That way customers can still host and manage their own mail server in-house on their NetBox without having to go to the expense of having static IP addresses on their ISP connections.

Administration is handled via a well-defined, clear and logical Web browser interface. There is a plethora of extra configuration tools and administration options available to the operator, including the ability to manually set name, type, and text blocking rules so even before the scanners come into play most nasties can be fended off.

We were extremely impressed by the NetBox, which is fully designed and assembled in Australia. The design engineers are all Australians and the product is really first class and is set at an affordable price. While not for the truly enormous enterprise, up to 150 users would definitely get a lot of mileage by putting in a machine like this, particularly if IT staff resources are at a premium, this box would take a lot of the weekly burdens away from the IT administrator.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product NetBox Micro
Price AU$3,276 (one box can serve up to 150 users)
Vendor Oxcoda
Phone 1300 737 060
Web www.netbox.biz
 
Interoperability
Can intercept all mail at the gateway and scan or apply rules to traffic.
Futureproofing
Four engines supported.
ROI
½
Well priced considering the features included, and the time saved on IT administration if deployed well.
Service
12-month replacement warranty; extended warranty available.
Rating
½

 

NetIQ MailMarshal for Exchange v5.0

NetIQ MailMarshal for Exchange v5.0
The application can have the administration/management console installed on a different machine than the application itself to allow for remote administration. There is also a logging facility to log all Exhange activity, if the operator wishes to enable this option then they can install the Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE) or SQL Server 7.0 (on a separate machine on the network etc). The MailMarshal configurator runs though the basic/initial configuration, such as setting up the domains served, the logging database and what is logged, and the admin e-mail addresses etc. You can also install the Marshal integrated McAfee antivirus.

Once the automatic configuration has been completed the administrator can then control the application through the management console.

One of the impressive features of this application is its support for antivirus engines -- no fewer than 12 bvendors are supported as well as an option for a -custom" scanner. This is a well-designed application with very good features and it is also very easy to install, configure, and administer. All in all, a very polished package with excellent third-party antivirus scanning support built in.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product MailMarshal
Price US$1,295 for 75 users (approx $22 per user)
Vendor NetIQ
Phone 02 9959 2313
Web www.netiq.com
 
Interoperability
Suports Exchange 2000 & 2003.
Futureproofing
Twelve plus a -custom" engine supported.
ROI
Average price and definitions included for 12 months.
Service
Choice of maintenance agreements.
Rating

Sophos MailMonitor for Exchange

Sophos Mailmonitor for Exchange
The configuration and administraton is handled from within the one Sophos console, making it easy for the administrator to control. The automatic updates can be scheduled basically from anything down to once every hour; there is also the option to run manually for those paranoid administrators out there.

Interestingly while on that topic, something we had never really given thought to before is that the scheduling is once every hour, but not necessarily on the hour. If everyone polled for updates exactly on the hour, the load on the Sophos update servers would be enormous. To get around this, Sophos injects a randomisation that allows the downloads to be staggered, which saves their servers and bandwidth and evens out the stresses on them.

Sophos has obviously put a lot of research and effort into this application and then made a very user friendly interface packed with features particularly for the administrator to monitor the status of the system and set the custom parameters for that particular environment.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product MailMonitor for Exchange 1.7.1
Price AU$34.65 per user for 100-199 users; $29.26 per user for 200-499 users
Vendor Sophos
Phone 02 9409 9100
Web www.sophos.com.au
 
Interoperability
Suports Exchange 2000 & 2003.
Futureproofing
One integrated engine.
ROI
Average price and definitions included for 12 months.
Service
Included for duration of subscription.
Rating

Trend Micro ScanMail v6.2 for Microsoft Exchange

Trend Micro ScanMail v6.2 for Microsoft Exchange
Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at the Trend Micro ScanMail for Microsoft Exchange application. Configuration is via a Web interface either locally or remotely. There is a local application also that enables monitoring of the traffic/statistics and even a performance graphing capability.

The automatic update system is very easy to set up for both the core module and the definitions (down to checks once every hour). The Web interface is quite user friendly and logically laid out.

In conclusion, this is a very easy package to install, configure, and administer. While Trend Micro may not have as many platforms supported as F-Secure, it certainly is another worthy consideration for a enterprise-wide single vendor antivirus application.

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Product ScanMail Version 6.2
Price Approx AU$15 per user for 100 users
Vendor Trend Micro
Phone 02 9870 4888
Web www.trendmicro.com
 
Interoperability
Supports all versions of Exchange and Notes/Domino.
Futureproofing
One integrated engine.
ROI
½
Second-cheapest solution at around $15 per user.
Service
25 percent of yearly licence cost.
Rating
½

Specifications

Product eTrust Secure Content Manager MAILsweeper for SMTP F-Secure Anti-Virus for Microsoft Exchange GFI MailSecurity V8.1
Vendor Computer Associates Clearswift F-Secure Corporation GFI Software Ltd
Phone 1800 22 4636 02 9424 1200 02 6261 4900 1800 22 55 43
Web www.ca.com/eTrust www.clearswift.com.au www.opensystems.com.au www.gfi.com
RRP inc GST US$55 per user (approx $75 per user) From AU$,2423 for 50 users (approx $48 per user) AU$4,257 for 100 users (approx $42 per user) AU$520 for 25 users, $3,555 for 500 users, $6195 for unlimited users (approx
Update subscription cost Included for duration of license $606 per year From second year, $2128 for 100 users (approx $21 per user) Per year, $150 for 25 users, $880 for 500 users, $1495 for unlimited users
Warranty and support Included Included Included 3 months free support. Optional maintenance agreement 20 percent of RRP per year.
On demand/on access scanning Yes Yes Yes Yes
Antivirus actions Cure, rename, move, delete, report Scan, block, remove, delete Remove/delete, disinfect Delete entire e-mail, delete infected part, quarantine (with or without notifications)
Automatic virus data files and engine updates Daily Depends on partner products Hourly Yes
Method of deployment (SMTP gateway or mail server plugin) Gateway or server Gateway Server Gateway or server
Operating systems supported Windows 2000, 2003 Windows 2000, 2003 Windows 2000, 2003 Windows 2000, 2003
Supported mail servers Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino Any SMTP server Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003 Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003 or any SMTP server in gateway mode

Product NetBox Micro MailMarshal MailMonitor for Exchange 1.7.1 ScanMail Version 6.2
Vendor Oxcoda NetIQ Sophos Trend Micro
Phone 1300 737 060 02 9959 2313 02 9409 9100 02 9870 4888
Web www.netbox.biz www.netiq.com www.sophos.com.au www.trendmicro.com
RRP inc GST AU$3,276 (maximum of 150 users per appliance) From US$1295 for 75 users. (approx $22 per user) AU$34.65 per user for 100-199 users; $29.26 per user for 200-499 users Approx AU$15 per user for 100 users
Update subscription cost Included in first year, from second year $429 per year for automatic firmware updates or $869 per year for automatic firmware updates and replacement hardware warranty Included Included 25 percent of base price per year
Warranty and support 12-month replacement warranty, can be extended annually Variety of maintence level options Included Included
On demand/on access scanning? N/A Yes Yes Yes
Antivirus actions Block, quarantine, alert Delete, quarantine, clean Report, disinfect, delete attachment, delete message, quarantine message, disinfect and quarantine message Quarantine, clean, delete, block
Automatic virus data files and engine updates Yes Yes Yes Yes
Method of deployment (SMTP gateway or mail server plugin) Gateway Gateway or server Server Gateway or server
Operating systems supported N/A Windows 2000, 2003 Windows 2000, 2003 Windows 2000, 2003
Supported mail servers N/A Any SMTP server Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003 All versions of Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes/Domino

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
How we tested

Interoperability
What operating systems and mail servers will the antivirus software support?

Futureproofing
Does the scanner support multiple antivirus engines from different vendors?

ROI

What will the software cost, including subscription to virus definition updates and support costs?

Service
What support is provided as standard and how much will ongoing support end up costing you?

Look out for ...

  • Performance. If you are evaluating the product on your mail server, ensure you record the performance before running the application so that once it is installed you can make sure the overhead is not too severe. This is particularly applicable if you have a high traffic e-mail server.
  • Admin interface. How easy is it for the administrator to see what is going on at any given point in time?
  • Policy creation and implementation. How easy is it for the administrator to create and apply a new policy? This is particularly crucial as a new threat could reveal itself at any time.
  • Updates. How often are updates and how easy is it to update the antivirus engine and definition files? Does the vendor's application support multiple third-party AV engines and definitions?
  • Platforms. For larger enterprises, look for vendors who support multiple platforms and applications so that perhaps a single vendor antivirus solution can be rolled out throughout the business for servers, firewalls, PDAs, desktops, etc.

Sample scenario

Company: Khan's Cannery This company is worried about recent outbreaks of e-mail-borne viruses and wants to make sure its mail server is protected.

Approximate budget: Open. Requires: An e-mail antivirus filtering product that can plug into its Exchange 2000 server.

Concerns: Ease of integration with its Exchange server is the company's biggest worry. The ability to manage and configure the filters once they're in place will also be taken into account.

Best solution: Best choices are GFI MailSecurity and F-Secure Anti-Virus. Both are very easy to install, configure, and administer on an Exchange 2000 server. Their incorporation of several third-party virus engines and their administration monitoring facilities are excellent.

T&B Editor's choice
Editor's Choice

Take your pick! With the variety of tools available in this category and their broad reach, we simply can't give a Editor's Choice award this month. However, an honorable mention must certainly go to NetBox for its network e-mail appliance which is suited for businesses up to 150 users.

Final Words

Overall a very impressive array of tools designed to make the tasks and job ahead for the administrator as simple and straightforward as possible. Virtually any one of the applications in this review would certainly reinforce a company's front line security defences by providing antivirus scanning and policy creation right at the point where most of these malicious programs enter the local network providing a kind of filtered draw-bridge.

E-mail over the past few years has proven to be one of the most radical changes in company communications, however over recent months it has also increasingly become more and more a potential liability and security risk. With any luck, applications such as these along with anti-spam filters will bring the e-mail system in general back into the users' good books and allow it to be used in the way it was originally intended -- not as a mass marketing tool or a delivery system for network borne nasties.

About RMIT IT Test Labs

 Antivirus scanners

 Mail server antivirus packages:
 
Clearswift MailSweeper
 
Computer Associates eTrust
 
F-Secure Antivirus
 
GFI MailSecurity
 
Netbox Micro
 
NetIQ MailMarshal
 
Sophos MailMonitor
 
Trend Micro ScanMail

 Specifications
 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
RMIT IT Test Labs
RMIT IT Test Labs is an independent testing institution based in Melbourne, Victoria, performing IT product testing for clients such as IBM, Coles-Myer, and a wide variety of government bodies. In the Labs' testing for T&B, they are in direct contact with the clients supplying products and the magazine is responsible for the full cost of the testing. The findings are the Labs' own--only the specifications of the products to be tested are provided by the magazine. For more information on RMIT, please contact the Lab Manager, Steven Turvey.

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