E-Mail Show Explores Authentication

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-07-12 Print this article Print

Center stage at the first E-mail Technology Conference in was the issue of trust between message senders and receivers.

Center stage at the first (and probably last) E-mail Technology Conference in San Francisco was the issue of trust between message senders and receivers. Several facets of this thorny spam-related issue shared the spotlight.

Authenticating sender identity is edging closer to commercial viability. Emerging user authentication standards, including the independent Sender Policy Framework, Yahoo Inc.s Domain Keys initiative and Microsoft Corp.s Caller ID technology—the first step in its Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative framework—were the subject of many conference panels.

Although it is generally agreed that SMTP—the cornerstone protocol of Internet e-mail—is fertile ground for spammers, calls to change the protocol were strangely absent from the ETC agenda, eWEEK Labs found.

Apparently, the runaway success of spam, combined with a corresponding lack of decisive direction for developing a stronger SMTP standard, means enterprise IT will have to continue bolting anti-spam solutions onto existing e-mail systems for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately for users, companies desire to use e-mail as an advertising channel means that e-mail systems will continue to be porous enough to let through "legitimate" commercial solicitations while trying to block access to senders that wont pay for the ability to send e-mail in bulk.

Because business and consumer e-mail systems have to interface, the problem of spam will be with us for at least the next several years. Therefore, we believe the best way to combat the junk e-mail problem in the last hundred feet between the e-mail server and the user desktop will be the use of client anti-spam tools.

IT managers should offer users client anti-spam tools that let users filter out the junk that will inevitably make it past the perimeter tools that forward "legitimate" junk mail.

Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel