Spam Appliances

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Spam Appliances

A spam appliance can function as a spam filter or as a spam blocker and is intended for businesses with high email volume. This hardware-based solution applies filtering rules to incoming mail at the MTA (Message Transfer Agent)

The spam analysis rules are often customizable by the company receiving spam.

Three popular spam appliances are available from:

• Barracuda Networks
• Ironport Systems
• Tumbleweed Communications


Barracuda Networks

Barracuda has a spam appliance called the Barracuda Spam Firewall that is inexpensive and easy to deploy for corporate networks.

Highly scalable system
The Barracuda Spam Firewall’s robust and scalable design enables it to handle email networks of over 10,000 active email users. It can process over 10 million email messages per day. There are different models for different mail loads. Multiple Barracuda systems can be employed and easily configured for redundancy or additional load capability.

No software to install and no modifications to your existing email system
Deploying the Barracuda Spam Firewall is easy. Just plug in your Barracuda Spam Firewall, accept the default settings or make any changes you’d like and you’re ready to go. There is no software to install. There are no modifications to your existing system. It’s that easy. Most customers are up and running in only 5 minutes.

Independent network device dedicated to spam-blocking
The Barracuda Spam Firewall is a self-sufficient networking device that handles all your spam-blocking so it does not bog down your email servers. In fact, with the Barracuda Spam Firewall, the load on your email system is actually reduced. Your email servers will process and store less incoming email. The performance of your email servers will increase.

Blocks spam using proven methods
By using all the best methods to block spam, the Barracuda Spam Firewall provides comprehensive spam-blocking for your company. Below are the primary algorithms we employ to block spam:

• Blacklisting of websites & domains: Barracuda Central maintains an up to date list of the largest and most aggressive known spammers. This list is maintained by both Barracuda and other anti-spam groups. This list is automatically updated on each Barracuda Spam Firewall.

• Keyword scanning of emails: This can be configured on a per user basis. Our scanning methods include a scoring system such that emails are scored based on a number of criteria. If the score is above a threshold, then that email is flagged as spam. The Barracuda Spam Firewall comes with default criteria and thresholds but you may change these.

• Checksum technology: Barracuda uses checksum technology to keep track of the number of times a particular message has appeared on the Internet. If a message has appeared over a certain number of times, it is categorized as known spam. Checksums of known spam messages are utilized to block spam messages.

• Message authenticity checking: Several algorithms are utilized to verify the authenticity of a message. Some of these are simple checks to verify that the “from address” is authentic. Some are more complex relating to SMTP protocol.

• Blacklists and Whitelists: Domains, IP’s, and email addresses can be blocked or whitelisted (allowed through). These lists may be maintained on a per user basis or on a corporate basis.

• Rate controls: Utilized to stop denial of service attacks as well as dictionary based spam attacks. These are integrated and automatic in the Barracuda Spam Firewall.

• File type attachment blocking: You can block certain types of files, such as vbl scripts, from entering your company.

User-based and corporate-based filtering
The decision on what types of emails to block can be made either at the end-user or at various corporate levels. You have the flexibility to decide where you’d like the decision to be made.

Suspect emails get quarantined
There are three main types of emails: emails that you want, emails that you do not want (spam), and emails that are suspect. The Barracuda Spam Firewall can tag suspect emails for delivery into a separate folder. You can then either have the end user or another designated person be the final judge of what to do with these suspect emails. If after 30 days no action is taken, the message is deleted.

Optional bulk mailboxes for users
Barracuda Spam Firewall provides optional bulk inboxes so that users can direct spam messages straight into these areas. This prevents spam from cluttering up their main mail system. These bulk email boxes can be checked periodically or ignored.

Automatic system updates
A team of engineers monitor the Internet for trends in spam and virus attacks. As they detect trends, updates are created for the Barracuda Spam Firewall which then automatically updates itself without any intervention. Maintaining your Barracuda Spam Firewall to deliver maximum protection is that easy.

Logs and reports on email statistics
System administrators can view logs or generate reports at any time from the desktop. It’s quick, easy, hassle-free administration.

No per user charges
Barracuda Spam Firewall pricing is simple. There are three Barracuda Spam Firewall models. Each one is designed to handle different active user and email loads. Pricing ranges from $1199 for the smallest model to $3999 for the largest model. There are no per user charges. Each model comes with both spam-blocking and virus-checking capabilities.

Multiple domains & servers
A single Barracuda Spam Firewall can also be used for multiple email servers and for multiple domains.

More information is available at



IronPort Systems

IronPort Systems makes both high-volume mail appliances as well as spam appliances. They also own the SpamCop filtering software.

The IronPort C-Series™ Messaging Gateway™ appliance is built on IronPort’s revolutionary MTA platform. It enhances security by preventing suspicious traffic from entering the network. It also detects spam and viruses and enforces corporate policies.

MTA Platform
IronPort has built the C-Series from the ground up to address the requirements of the modern email gateway and to position customers for the future of SMTP.

Threat Prevention
Unique Reputation Filters™ technology identifies suspicious traffic patterns. Suspect senders are throttled or blocked, preventing malicious traffic from even entering the network.

Policy Enforcement
The IronPort C-Series includes the world’s fastest content scanning engine. This flexible engine allows for fine grained enforcement of corporate policies based on keyword searches of messages or attachments.

Spam Detection
Fully integrated industry leading spam detection powered by Brightmail® anti-spam. Most accurate spam detection available. Eliminates the headache of spam without false positives.

Brightmail® is the industry leader in anti-spam technology. Their technology protects over 280 million mailboxes and 1,400 businesses from the productivity loss and the IT costs of unsolicited commercial email (spam).

Brightmail on AsyncOS
The IronPort C-Series includes integrated Brightmail spam-fighting technology. Optimized for IronPort’s AsyncOS™ operating system, Brightmail technology is extremely high performance and highly accurate. Automatic rule updates are integrated into the platform requiring zero administrator intervention.

Lowest False Positive Rate
False positives cost companies money in lost productivity and lost opportunities. Brightmail has the lowest false positive rate in the industry with less than one in one million messages being a false positive. This accuracy is only achievable by Brightmail because of the real-time methods they use to identify spam through their Probe Network™.

Lowest Total Cost of Administration
Brightmail runs the world’s most advanced anti-spam operations center (BLOC) which delivers the most complete and up to date set of filters. The BLOC runs 24x7x365 analyzing spam, generating rules, and ensuring a low false positive rate. Brightmail writes 30,000 new rules per day so you don’t have to.

Spam Handling Flexibility
Administrators have several choices on how to handle messages that are flagged as spam by Brightmail. Choices include sending the message to a per-recipient web quarantine, marking up the subject header, adding an additional “X-header”, sending the message to an alternate folder in the user’s mailbox, deleting or bouncing the message, or a combination of these actions.

Quality Reporting
The Brightmail system shares information with the IronPort C-Series Mail Flow Monitor making real-time and historical reports instantly available at any time.

More information is available at



Tumbleweed Communications

Tumbleweed's E-mail Firewall for Anti-Spam provides highly effective spam blocking and management capabilities, while easing the management burden associated with fighting the daily deluge of junk mail.

It was recently voted the #1 anti-spam solution by Network World magazine.

Developed to provide industrial-strength network protection, for corporations with over 100 mailboxes, this powerful technology exceeds the five core requirements for enterprise-level spam management:

Accurate Spam identification: Keep the "bad" email out, while letting legitimate email in. The key to minimizing the risks and costs of spam to the enterprise is successfully blocking spam while maintaining zero "false-positives."

Easily tailored for your enterprise: Different organizations define spam in different ways. Tumbleweed solutions are flexible enough to allow enterprises to easily create policies based on their unique spam definitions.

Control of anti-spam actions: You can configure your anti-Spam solution to take different actions depending on the type and content of the spam detected.
Enterprise-class gateway: Tumbleweed ensures that your mission-critical email stream remains reliable.

Minimize administrative costs: At the heart of Tumbleweed’s award winning anti-spam solution is the Dynamic Anti-spam Service (DAS). DAS automates the process of analyzing and identifying spam, delivering a highly effective anti-spam solution with a low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Key Features of the email Firewall for Anti-spam:
• Stops 95% of spam
• Award winning spam analysis engine with auto-updates
• Custom Whitelists (user, group, corporate)
• Custom Blacklists (user, group, corporate)
• Realtime Blackhole Lists
• Flexible actions so each end-user gets what they need
• Reverse DNS Lookup
• Content filtering
• Anti-virus
• Anti-hacker
• In-depth reporting on email trends, spam volumes, and policy violations
• High performance SMTP Relay
• Key Benefits
• Email protection and security in one integrated solution
• Save employee time and boost productivity
• Comprehensive network protection
• Protect your intellectual property through flexible and secure email delivery
• Enforce communications policies to minimize compliance risks and liability
• Easily integrates with existing email systems (Exchange, Domino, etc)
• Easy remote administration and monitoring through a secure web-based interface
• Flexible policy actions to eliminate false positives
• Low administration with automatic updating of spam heuristics

Available as both Appliance and Software
Tumbleweed’s Email Firewall for Anti-Spam comes as both an appliance and software.

More information is available at


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