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By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-06-28 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


The IronMail appliance, which was updated in February with Version 4.0 software, is a good fit for companies that need to improve perimeter security and use message profiling to adapt faster than anti-virus vendors currently do to new virus and worm threats.

This box is designed to handle more users—about 2,500—and greater mail volume than the MXtreme appliance. (CipherTrust also offers a version of the IronMail appliance with hardware redundancy.)

eWEEK Labs found that the CipherTrust IronMail appliance provides a good mix of security features and management tools, giving companies a way to quickly get a handle on e-mail security.

The firewall component gives administrators a broad range of configuration options.

For example, we found it easy during tests to configure the firewalls mail routing to external and internal domains. We were also able to configure the IronMail to act as a Web mail proxy to an Exchange server in relatively short order. The IronMail appliance also can act as a proxy for POP3 and IMAP servers.

The IronMails IDS (intrusion detection system) capabilities allowed us to monitor the mail server to ensure that strong passwords were being used and to detect password-cracking attempts. We could also establish rules that would help prevent mail-based virus and worm attacks and could configure the server to send alerts or block messages based on content and source.

The IronMail appliance relies on its internal spam-prevention solution while also offering the ability to combine two anti-virus engines, from Sophos plc. and McAfee, to monitor for viruses.

As with BorderWares own anti-spam engine, administrators will need to take some time to tune the IronMails anti-spam engine for optimal results. The IronMail engine supports real-time blackhole lists, reverse DNS (Domain Name System), statistical look-up and Sender Provider Form look-ups to automatically block senders.

To manage spam from previously unknown senders, the IronMail system has a Bayesian engine, a profiler, and the ability to create and manage spam lists generated by users or administrators.

We could manage the appliance via a command line, the appliances KVM (keyboard, video and mouse switch) console or the Web. The Web interface let us manage every aspect of the system, including network settings, providing more flexibility than the IronPort C60 does.

As with the IronPort C60, the IronMails Web-based interface provides a dashboard view of overall system status. However, we would prefer more information to be close at hand when configuring each component of the system. As it was, we had to drill through a few of the tabs and some of the configuration screens to fully configure the product.

The IronMails reporting engine doesnt include the same number of canned reports found in the other appliances we tested, but it does provide options for e-mailing reports as well as transferring reports to another system via FTP.

eWEEK Labs Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be contacted at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.

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