Proactive Quarantine Handles E-mail Security

Software isolates a company's incoming E-mail and checks for threats before releasing it to the business' network
Viruses and worms can spread throughout a business network and infect systems in minutes. That's much faster than the arrival of patches and fixes from even the best vendors.

Avinti Inc. takes a different approach to fighting off worms and viruses spread by E-mail. The company's software isolates and analyzes all E-mail on a separate server before releasing it to the corporate network.

A new version of its iSolation Server software, available this week, sets up a mirror network to process E-mail messages. The software looks for the usual threats--viruses, worms, Trojan horses--and ensures that mail contains normal content and is addressed to a real person in the company. It can do all of that in seconds, Avinti says.

The upgrade also offers better reporting capabilities and higher scalability, handling up to 10,000 mailboxes and multiple servers. The reporting function includes an SMTP traffic monitor that profiles traffic. The software is priced at around $12.50 per mailbox.

Avinti is taking a new approach by emulating a network and isolating a virus before it gets to the regular network, says David Ferris, founder of research firm Ferris Research. The time it takes for security companies and other tech vendors to come up with a patch or fix "was OK when viruses spread via diskettes," Ferris says. "But now a virus is replicated and could infect millions of machines within a half-hour."