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Security Vendors Unleash New Solutions To Protect IM, E-Mail

In many ways, the problems of messaging security keep getting worse. To wit: Instant messaging management vendor Postini announced that IM attacks had risen in April, while spam and virus volumes stayed steady. Of the more than 22 billion messages Postini processed that month, a whopping 18.5 billion of them were unwanted, and virus-carrying e-mails comprised about 3 percent of all e-mail.

Also, Panda Software announced that 70 percent of malware detected during the first quarter of 2006 was cybercrime-related. About 40 percent of it was spyware, about 17 percent were trojans, and 8 percent were dialers, or malicious code that dials up premium-rate numbers without users' knowledge. Panda reported that e-mail worms seem to be falling out of favor as cybercrime tools because they generate too much publicity and thus aren't very useful for profit-driven scams.

A number of security vendors are responding to demand for messaging security tools among SMBs. For example, Trend Micro this week announced Email Security Services, a hosted e-mail protection service that protects small companies' network and infrastructure by stopping threats before they reach the gateway.

The services feature a reseller-management console that enables VARs to manage customers' messaging environment. They can monitor service effectiveness, generate reports, and create and manage policies to implement group or user-specific rules or to meet corporate compliance requirements. This enables resellers to implement best practices and provide customer support.

"Producing the reports help VARs show customers an ongoing ROI and areas where they need to make improvements," says John Maddison, Trend Micro's senior business director for network security services. "One of the issues we have is that sometimes the services are too good in how they take care of themselves, so there are no touch points for resellers until its time for renewal. This provides an opportunity for them to add more services the customer needs."

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