The appliance is powered by Symantec's Brightmail anti-spam technology, and uses what Symantec dubs "Sender Reputation Service," a real-time monitoring and spam assessment service that identifies spammers' IP addresses (rather than their sending addresses) and then blocks the mail.
"Sender Reputation analyzes the frequency of the IP addresses used to send mail to a given customer. It essentially identifies the trends of mail traffic to that customer. Is the sender legitimate, an occasionally spammer, or always a spammer?" The service updates every hour, so as soon as a spammer stops bombarding recipients from an IP address, that address will begin to move toward a more favorable rating.
The 8240 and 8260, meanwhile, are gateway-deployed appliances that combine Brightmail's anti-spam defenses, Symantec's own AntiVirus technologies, and an e-mail firewall. The two are aimed at medium-to-large enterprises, and integrates a slew of e-mail management and security services, ranging from attack prevention and encryption to content filtering and compliance archiving.
Previously, Symantec had been selling its Brightmail defenses only in software form; this is the first time it's added the technology to one of its own appliances. "But the 8200 isn't just Brightmail on a box," Freeman asserted.
Like the 8160, the 8200 appliances have traffic-shaping skills that should lower the amount of e-mail reaching the gateway, although in the case of these models, Symantec's claiming that they'll reduce unwanted mail only by about 25 percent.