by June 18, 2001 0 comments

Today you can find just about any information on the Internet, and always stay in touch via e-mail with anybody across the globe. However, just as there’s a bad side to every good one, Internet and e-mail are no exceptions. 

While an anti-virus package offers protection from virii, Trojans, and malicious scripts, it can’t do anything about junk mail, and the ‘rash’ content traveling over e-mail. Since home users get comparatively less mail, they can easily delete such unwanted mail every day; but for an organization it means spending considerable time and bandwidth on downloading e-mail, resulting in loss of time as well as productivity. This is the crux of content security. 

Simply put, content security is all about protecting your organization from unwanted content. This could be anything from
spam mail to use of foul language, or even an employee trying to send his resume via the company e-mail account. Therefore, the threat of unwanted content is not only incoming, but outgoing as well. What’s needed, therefore, are two things. One is software that can provide the necessary protection against these threats. The other is to create and enforce a set of guidelines towards e-mail and Web usage. The policies, for example, could range from what’s acceptable content in an e-mail or e-mail attachment, to Web/FTP upload and download.


A variety of tools and packages, classified as content-security products, are available. These consist of: E-mail, HTTP, and FTP filters, and virus-detection software. You can use these to block spam mail or e-mail containing certain words or phases, block sites that you would not want employees to access, configure certain rules and policies on e-mail and Web usage. For example, to save network bandwidth you can configure a rule for sending large e-mail attachments at off-peak hours. The features mentioned above might vary from one product to another. Some of the products might just support virus scanning and content-filtering capabilities, where-as others might support extra features too. In this issue, we have reviewed two such products, namely MailScan, and TrendMicro InterScan (see the reviews section). 

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