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DSS adds content screening controls for email users

Govt Secure Intranet can't do the job

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The UK's Department of Social Security (DSS) has deployed content screening technology to protect sensitive Government information.

MailGuard SMTP, from security firm NET-TEL, is being used by the DSS to provide protection against a variety of threats including accidental and malicious leakage of sensitive material, virus attacks and exposure to legal risks from misuse of email.

The technology sits between the DSS' SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and X.400 (an alternative messaging protocol) email networks and the Government Secure Intranet (GSI), which raises the question of why the GSI doesn't include content screening technology by default.

Keith Vallance, NET-TEL Product Marketing Director, said that each Government department has its "subtly different security policy" which means they need to include their own technology on top of that in the basic Government system.

Vallance said that the DSS is particularly concerned about the sensitivity of the information it handles and that the GSI "doesn't provide a high level of protection against information going to places it shouldn't".

He said that MailGuard SMTP features the ability to regulate the movement of this sensitive information based on how messages are labelled, which means confidentially labelled documents have stricter policies applied to them than general office emails.

MailGuard SMTP is a software package that provides boundary protection wherever an organisation has a "trust gap", such as between an intranet and the Internet.

The MailGuard engine operates as a "proxy" server intercepting and examining messaging traffic, under the direction of the GuardRoom policy configuration and management tool. This allows virus scanning, content checking, label checking, spam blocking, and the application of different policies for different categories of email users.

A range of actions can be taken by MailGuard SMTP, including blocking or quarantining messages, removing attachments, adding annotations, as well as archiving and auditing functions. ®

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