This tag is associated with 3 posts

Introducing the lean, mean content security machine

As goes the Internet, so goes security for the content it carries: throughput is king. As the volume of email and the amount of information it carries continues to increase exponentially, vendors like WatchGuard need to deliver more performance in our enterprise content security solutions.

WatchGuard XCS 880WatchGuard XCS 880 left view

WatchGuard XCS 880 Right view

Sure, we could add more cores and more hard disk space. But bigger isn’t always better; instead of building a fire-breathing monster, we opted for a different approach. Today we are announcing a leaner, meaner security solution for email (and web) content: the WatchGuard XCS 880. Delivering 20 percent more processing power, twice the email throughput per dollar, and all of the redundancy you need for non-stop security, while consuming less than half the energy of previous models – the WatchGuard XCS 880 combines power and efficiency in a slim 1U profile.

Smaller, lighter, less expensive to power and to cool – the XCS 880 is another proof point of our Best of Breed security appliance strategy. You can take advantage of the performance curve our processor partner, Intel, provides generation after generation – and instead of having to maintain your own operating system, install and configure lots of separate security products from different vendors and manage them from separate interfaces, you get one integrated solution managed from a single pane of glass.

To learn more about the XCS 880 and the full suite of XCS solutions, visit the WatchGuard XCS 880 page.

Email Security and Anti-Spam Solutions: 10 Things to Consider During Evaluation – Part Two

In our last blog post we reviewed the first five things you should consider when comparing and considering an email security and anti-spam solution. An email security and anti‐spam solution is a critical ingredient for protecting both your network and your company’s overall employee productivity, and with many solutions on the market you need to evaluate carefully.

Here are the remaining 5 things to consider when comparing email security and anti-spam solutions:

6. The number of appliances you have to acquire to get complete protection

Most solutions are sold by functionality and the SMB models in most product lines have much less capability. You need to make sure that you’re not overlooking important features such as LDAP access, end user controls, and on‐box spam quarantines. If these are not available on your SMB solutions, you may be forced to move up to more expensive systems just to get the basic functionality your business needs.

7. What kind of support is available once you’re up and running?

Buyers should be careful to select products that offer solid, well‐trained, 24/7 tech support for their mission‐critical security products. Some vendor support can be lacking in depth and thus you may be forced to rely on user forums for most of the real support.

8. Does it provide automatic, uptotheminute security?

You need to make sure your email security solution doesn’t need constant fine tuning. If it provides a means for automated and constant self‐updating, so that it is always aware of the latest threats, you’ll ultimately get better security while also reducing your administration costs.

Many anti‐spam solutions on the market rely on a 1st generation (at best) reputation service, which in turn depends on RBLs (real‐time block lists) that provide a simple yes/no result for legitimacy of an email based on sender IP history – much like a credit bureau which makes decisions based on history. But the RBLs are not updated quickly enough to keep up with the increasing volume and purveyors of spam. Depending on how aggressively you set your spam threshold, with a simple RBL, you’ll either get a low catch rate or a high false positive rate. If your spam solution requires you to constantly adjust and manually add new scanning rules to catch spam (because the engine doesn’t), you’ll further increase false positive rates.

9. Understand what features you’re getting

Will your email security and anti‐spam solution allow you to adjust your spam settings for your unique needs? Some vendors list features like ‘attachment stripping’, ‘footer stamping’, and ‘body and header keyword search’ and then market them as highly effective spam detection tools. In reality those spam detection offerings do not allow you to set up even simple logic in filters to fine tune your spam settings or the ability to combine multiple actions on messages, resulting in legitimate messages being blocked.

Here’s a short list of features and functions that we think should be part of your checklist:

Threat Protection

  • Anti‐Spam
  • Anti‐Phishing
  • Anti‐Virus/Anti‐Malware
  • Next‐generation Reputation Services
  • Threat Outbreak Protection
  • Spam Dictionaries
  • Pattern‐based Message Filters
  • Message Quarantine
  • Inbound Attachment Control

Data Loss Prevention

  • Pattern‐based Content Rules
  • Compliance Dictionaries
  • Objectionable‐Content Filtering
  • Outbound Attachment Control
  • Outbound Content & Attachment Scanning
  • Document Fingerprinting and Data Classification
  • TLS Encryption
  • Message Level Encryption

Management & Reporting

  • On‐box Reporting
  • Messaging Logs
  • Customizable Granular Policies
  • Customizable Granular Reports
  • Centralized Management


  • Message Redundancy
  • Geographical Redundancy
  • Queue Replication
  • One-Demand Clustering

10. Is open source the right solution for your security?

When security vendors base their products on open source technology, they can put your network at risk. Spammers are motivated, highly capable people with a monetary incentive to engineer their way around your security barricades. They can reverse‐engineer open source security technology in order to bypass its detection of spam and threats, making it more open to hacking than proprietary solutions.

If you have thoughts or additions to you’d like to add to the list, feel free to add them in the comment box below.

Email Security and Anti-Spam Solutions: 10 Things to Consider During Evaluation – Part One

An email security and anti‐spam solution is probably one of the most important security products you can buy to protect both your network and your company’s overall employee productivity. To add to the pressure of making the correct decision, there are a lot of email security and anti‐spam solutions and products on the market. So how do you select the right product at the right price for your organization?

This blog post will cover the first five of ten things that you need to consider when comparing email security and anti-spam solutions.

1. Understand the difference between ‘affordable’ and ‘cheap’

One way some manufacturers cut costs is by using extremely cheap components in their email security appliances, resulting in a high percentage defects on arrival, as well as a high failure rate in the field. Another way they often make prices look low is by showcasing the low‐end models that offer limited functionality. In this scenario you’ll have to buy several appliances to do the work, meaning double or triple the cost.

2. Can I buy it from my trusted reseller, or do I have to order it over the phone?

Some SMB email security and anti‐spam solution vendors try to sell both direct to the customer and through a reseller network, resulting in a poorly organized reseller network. This means customers are forced to rely on the corporation for pre‐ and post‐purchase support – usually over the phone – rather than in person, even if they are in a completely different geography or time zone.

3. Understand the real TCO

One question to ask regarding price is what the ‘real’ total cost of ownership is. If your email security and anti‐spam solution requires ongoing management and attention, it means ultimately higher costs throughout the life of the appliance. If the vendor does not offer appliances that are designed to be centrally administered, you’ll spend even more time on overall management rather than on other critical IT business initiatives.

In some instances you’ll also need to buy a completely separate appliance for administration of inbound and outbound email traffic, in addition to a separate module for reporting. Numerous purchases can and will skew your TCO.

4. Consider your company’s growth prior to purchase

Many email security and anti‐spam solutions are designed to handle only small volumes of users and traffic. Their mail processing systems can’t handle the high‐volume mail loads of an organization with thousands of users or those with significant throughput environments.

5. The ease of setup

Some email security and anti‐spam vendors claim their products can be up and running in 15 minutes and require no IT expertise. But installation is usually not this simple and many times they have no install wizard available for system setup.

In our next blog post, we’ll review the next 5 things to consider when comparing email security and anti-spam solutions. If you have questions (or horror stories) we’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.