McAfee claims that its new managed e-mail service will help small businesses handle the deluge of spam and viruses pounding their networks.
The company will launch McAfee Managed Mail Protection, an integrated antispam, anti-virus and content filtering service for inbound and outbound e-mail.
The service is targeted at companies with between one and 1,000 employees that lack the internal expertise or resources to manage antivirus and antispam products, said Lillian Wai, product marketing manager for McAfee Managed Services.
The service will be akin to other managed e-mail services offered by companies such as Postini and MessageLabs.
Customers that sign on to McAfee Managed Mail Protection will be asked to modify their mail exchange record, redirecting incoming and outgoing mail to servers hosted at McAfee's network operations centre, where the content scanning and filtering is performed.
The redirection adds a delay of less than two seconds to deliver an e-mail, but the service is only available to customers in the US and only works with e-mail content written in English, Wai said.
McAfee is looking into the possibility of partnering with Internet service providers (ISPs) in the European Union, Asia and Latin America to open other mail-processing centres in those areas, she said.
Unlike other managed e-mail services that license anti-virus and antispam technology from third-party companies, McAfee Managed Mail Protection uses only McAfee technology for virus and spam detection, and is designed to build upon McAfee's established name in the anti-virus and network security arenas.
Administrators can log on to a web-based interface and view reports on mail, virus and spam traffic, or review messages left in a quarantine queue. Administrators can also create their own content filters for inbound mail, though they cannot filter the contents of outbound messages, Wai said.
The service will replace an existing McAfee service called VirusScreen ASAP, which screened e-mail for viruses only. In re-branding that service, McAfee has also added antispam and content to the virus screening service.
McAfee Managed Mail Protection is available now through McAfee and its partner companies.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service