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3/16/2005
05:39 PM
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Review: E-Mail Appliance Enforces The Rules For Small Businesses

One of most difficult compliance issues facing small businesses is the control and monitoring of E-mail. HIPAA, for instance, requires that businesses secure E-mail to make sure sensitive patient information is not distributed, while Sarbanes-Oxley dictates that businesses must create an auditable E-mail trail, prevent deletions, and make sure E-mail messages aren't forged.



One of most difficult compliance issues facing small businesses is the control and monitoring of e-mail. HIPAA, for instance, requires that businesses secure e-mail to make sure sensitive patient information is not distributed, while Sarbanes-Oxley dictates that businesses must create an auditable e-mail trail, prevent deletions and make sure e-mail messages are not forged.

3Com’s Email Firewall, an appliance-based e-mail protection device targeted at smaller businesses, can protect against the latest phishing schemes and spyware and perform content filtering to protect businesses against both security breaches and legal and financial risks.

The appliance is scalable for up to 250 users and is designed for placement between the corporate firewall and the SMTP mail server. The 1U device also protects against spam, viruses, denial-of-service attacks, buffer overruns, inappropriate content, directory harvest attacks, trojan horses, self-propagating worms, malicious attachments, malformed messages, dictionary attacks, and emerging zero-day exploits.

Integrators looking to use the device as part of a compliance solution will appreciate its policy-based filtering, which drives several additional features, including whitelisting, blacklisting, pattern matching, usage policies, header analysis, content analysis, bulk-mail detection, Bayesian filtering, keyword screening and attachment handling.

What’s more, the unit includes an onboard antivirus engine, which scans all inbound and outbound e-mail traffic, including compressed attachments, and quarantines suspicious messages and attachments. The combination of these features creates a soup-to-nuts e-mail security system.

In most cases, integrators can have basic protection installed, configured and running in less than an hour.

Security solution providers should take special notice of the firewall’s pattern-based message filter, which can be set up to identify particular elements in an e-mail, including social security numbers, credit card numbers and other sensitive, proprietary information. These filters can check both inbound and outbound e-mail. Filters can be configured to recognize patterns, destinations, specific senders and more.

With all these features available, solution providers could design policies to guarantee e-mail security, monitoring and compliance. For instance, integrators could create a filter that allows only encrypted messages to be sent to authorized receivers. This powerful feature goes a long way toward helping meet privacy requirements.

Integrators also have the ability to set up e-mail sending rules. For example, a rule could be created that sends a blind carbon copy of every e-mail to a particular address, a feature that proves useful for meeting Sarbanes-Oxley’s auditing requirements. Other features include virtual mapping technology, which allows e-mail to be redirected to another domain without user intervention.

Viruses, phishing schemes and malformed e-mail are all serious security concerns. The 3Com Email Firewall employs a built-in virus scanning and content filtering service, which eliminates most of these threats. Integrators can also choose to block attachment types to prevent the transmission or receipt of a multitude of file attachments, ranging from AVI video files to compressed Zip files.

Integrators can generate additional income by offering monitoring, management and ROI assessments using the unit’s integrated logging and reporting capabilities. The device also features activity and status monitoring, which can be used to gauge e-mail loads and troubleshoot e-mail delivery backlogs and routing problems.

For system integrators looking to help their customers comply with the rules and provide much-needed e-mail protection, 3Com’s Email Firewall fits the bill.

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