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The Way Business Is Moving

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Issue Date: September 2005

Integrating content filtering

1 September 2005

Keeping spam at bay has become a critical requirement for all companies. But how do you get rid of spam without deleting business e-mails as well?
Even brief discussions with IT administrators and managers reveal that what their enterprises need, is a complete content filtering solution that includes antispam. Every enterprise needs relief from spam in order to decrease security risks as well as to increase user productivity and e-mail system performance. And, as an antispam and content filtering solution reduces spam to a reasonable level, it should keep the number of false positives minimal, support enterprise policies (eg, acceptable use policies - AUPs), and reduce liability (eg, from illegal or inappropriate content).
Although some of the best selling points for a content filtering tool lie in reducing unwanted e-mail which ultimately increase productivity and protect the company from liability, IT administrators' worst nightmares remain those about highly destructive code which can enter the environment through an e-mail and will ultimately disrupt business, and potentially destroy valuable data.
In an international survey that Windows and .NET magazine conducted for a leading content filtering vendor, many IT administrators noted that they would like to block 80% to 90% of all spam and reduce false positives to between 0,5% and 4%. South African companies however, seem to have much higher expectations than this. The survey also revealed that one of their main concerns was how well a package integrated into their existing technology infrastructure, how flexible it was, how easily they could get it up and running (including any fine-tuning), and how much administrative time it absorbed.
Administrators need to integrate an antispam and content filtering solution into the enterprise's technical environment, into its policy-compliance processes (the solution should help to enforce the enterprise's AUP), as well as into the current administrative setup (the solution should reduce rather than increase the load on IT administrators). Once integrated, an antispam and content filtering solution should not only leverage the enterprise's technical environment, but also support its policies and simplify the IT administration.
Threats to an organisation's content security will increase in number and change in nature. A key element of the protection of your system will be your antispam and secure-content solution. With a solution that is both flexible and extensible from a vendor that regularly updates its solution to meet changing threats, as an IT manager, you can achieve the level of secure content you need for your organisation's continued security.
The security scene is a shifting target, with malicious attackers regularly finding new attack vectors along with new or mutated attack payloads. In this environment, it is not enough to defend against known attacks; you must attempt to prepare for as-yet-unknown assaults on your enterprise.
Neil Cosser, director of 10Net ICT Solutions
Neil Cosser, director of 10Net ICT Solutions
For more information contact Neil Cosser, 10Net ICT Solutions, 011 783 7335, www.10Net.co.za


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