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IBM launches e-mail filtering service

IBM is partnering with MessageLabs to provide a managed e-mail security service which filters messages for viruses, spam and...

IBM is partnering with MessageLabs to provide a managed e-mail security service. This filters messages for viruses, spam and inappropriate content before they reach a company's network and uses a predictive technology designed to identify threats not yet defined.

The IBM offering, called E-mail Security Management Services, is based on an existing set of services from MessageLabs called MessageLabs Email Security System, said Michel Bobillier, global offering executive at IBM Global Services' Security and Privacy Services.

IBM's clients had been asking for a service such as this one, and IBM decided to partner with MessageLabs instead of developing the technology itself because it found MessageLabs' service to be excellent, he said.

The system filters both a company's incoming and outgoing messages to prevent malicious code and content from touching the network.

"Building a defence in the [network] perimeter is not enough any more. We need a more proactive way to protect critical applications, by filtering these messages before they reach the network," he said. "It's not safe enough to install some defence software on servers and desktops."

The system uses predictive algorithms to eliminate threats which have not yet been discovered and defined by security suppliers and experts.

The service is aimed at medium-sized and large companies, starting with implementations of 50 users.

The offering consists of three components, which can be bought separately:

  • e-mail anti-virus, for viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other threats
  • e-mail image filtering, which uses composition image analysis to flag inappropriate images embedded in messages, such as pornographic content
  • e-mail anti-spam, for blocking unsolicited commercial e-mail messages

IBM declined to provide pricing information for the managed service.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service

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