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By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2004-08-02 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


ILumin Software Services Inc.s Assentor Enterprise suite is a powerful message management solution that lets IT managers audit e-mail archives and track corporate communications.

Compliance with new regulatory measures, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, has become a major goal for most companies. The iLumin Assentor Enterprise suite and products like it can help organizations manage information.

In eWEEK Labs tests, we looked at the two components of the iLumin suite: Assentor Compliance 3.3 and Assentor Discovery 1.0.4; both provide enterprise-class message management tools. The modules shipped in June; volume pricing for both starts at $60 per seat.

Assentor Compliance 3.3 is good for daily supervision of corporate content. It lets IT managers supervise e-mail and instant messaging to ensure they meet corporate or regulatory requirements. Assentor Discovery can retrieve archived messages and is more likely to be used for a major audit or investigation.

Assentor Compliance supports a variety of e-mail platforms, including IBMs Lotus Domino, Microsoft Corp.s Exchange and Novell Inc.s GroupWise. When questionable content is detected by Assentor Compliance 3.3, it automatically intercepts the corporate messages and flags questionable ones for IT managers and auditors.

Assentor Compliance uses natural language processing technology to analyze message content, and in tests, we found that it made the search engine more efficient because it looks at the context of words instead of just flagging any word that looked suspicious.

The filters in Assentor Compliance 3.3 can monitor investment banking operations such as those at brokerage houses. In tests, the filters were good at finding messages that discussed such things as money laundering and insider trading and that used profanity.

Although the system cant read encrypted messages, it can prevent these messages from entering or leaving a corporation. Assentor Compliance 3.3 can read compressed files, a feature that should be handy when auditing attachments.

Currently, there is no alerting escalation, but companies can set their own thresholds for violation categories and for groups and direction of e-mail. Managers can specify when e-mail should be reviewed.

IT managers in industries outside banking should count on spending a fair amount of time creating customized searches for their environments, but we think this is a worthwhile investment.

Assentor Compliance 3.3 can block questionable messages from being sent. However, IT managers should be careful when using this feature because it could lead to backlogs if there arent enough auditors or managers to screen quarantined messages on a regular basis.

Unlike the Assentor Compliance 3.3 module, which actively scans incoming and outgoing messages and filters for suspect content, the Assentor Discovery 1.0.4 module can search for and retrieve content stored on e-mail archives.

In tests, we used Assentor Discovery 1.0.4 to create custom searches and sort the data into folders to make investigations and audits easier to manage and complete. Assentor Discoverys improved management interface let us flag relevant messages and exclude extraneous ones from the data-gathering process.

The Assentor Enterprise suite does not actively store data, but its open-storage API lets it feed a variety of data-archive solutions.

Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at henry_baltazar@ziffdavis.com.

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

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