Review: MAILsweeper

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Clearswift MAILsweeper analyzes incoming and outgoing email at the internet gateway so organizations can implement management and security policies to block spam, viruses, inappropriate content, and comply with legal requirements.

Clearswift MAILsweeper analyzes incoming and outgoing email at the internet gateway so organizations can implement management and security policies to block spam, viruses, inappropriate content, and comply with legal requirements.

MAILsweeper screens emails based on source, content and destination. Emails entering and leaving the organization at the SMTP gateway are transparently subjected to filtering, monitoring and reporting. Installation is made quicker and easier by support for LDAP directories from which lists of users may be queried.

Different content policies may be set up based on source and destination addresses. This can include preventing inappropriate or confidential content being transmitted and can enforce the inclusion of a disclaimer. You can also enforce a limit on attachment file sizes.

Content analysis is done by examining the message body and attachments. Attached archive files (such as PKZIP files) are examined by extracting the files contained within them.

MAILsweeper can block files by file type but it does not rely on the file name for identification of these files. All image files may be blocked or an add-on program, called IMAGEManager, may be used to analyze and block image files based on content.

MAILsweeper works with a wide variety of third-party anti-virus products. The anti-spam filter is Clearswift's own software, which uses heuristics based on self-learning Bayesian filters and can use an up-to-date database of known spam, called spamActive, which may be kept current through scheduled downloads from Clearswift's website (updated every three hours). Its script checker can filter out html and other dangerous content from the body of email messages. It can also work with any third-party realtime blackhole lists (RBLs). Blocked messages are retained in a "quarantine" area, where they may be examined and released manually by the administrator.

The SMTP version of MAILsweeper runs on Windows 2000 Professional, Server, or Advanced Server. Other versions run on Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino platforms but these mail-server add-ons lack the anti-spam features.

For:

: The extensive use of "wizards" makes basic configuration easy.


Against:

: Need to edit an XML file if you wish to adjust the spam sensitivity settings.


Verdict:

: A comprehensive solution to email content filtering implemented at the internet gateway.

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