Feeds

Anti-spam tsunami hits SMEs

World + dog on the vend

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

World + dog is trying to carve extra revenues from the crowded anti-spam marketplace by targeting small business.

This week UK-based Sophos launched its Small Business Suite, a set of integrated software packages with desktop server and e-mail gateways components, designed to shield smaller companies from spam and viruses.

Three more firms are to unveil SME-orientated anti-spam products at London's InfoSec conference next week. CipherTrust, Mirapoint and Unipalm will all use the conference to promote the launch of various products and services designed to help SMEs to hold back the spam tsunami. Most are essentially cut-down, easier-to-use versions of existing enterprise products.

CipherTrust will use InfoSec to launch its IronMail S-Series appliances in Europe. S-Series appliances are marketed as offering "enterprise class email security" to the small and medium-sized business market. The technology was launched in the US in February.

Mirapoint will publicly demonstrate its all-in-one security appliance, RazorGate, for the first time in Europe at Infosec. Launched in January, RazorGate appliances are designed to protet small businesses and branch offices from spam, virus and hacker attacks.

Meanwhile, distie Unipalm will use InfoSec to promote its managed security services package, SafeAnet. SafeAnet offers anti-virus, anti-spam, web content filtering to home workers and small businesses. The service runs on Check Point Safe@Office appliances managed by Unipalm.

Aside from the packaging, the products from these vendors differ in taking either a software (Sophos), appliance (CipherTrust and Mirapoint) or service (Unipalm) approach to the problem. Each segment is already populated by numerous vendors, all jockeying for attention. Last month analyst Gartner predicted that the 40 vendors in the anti-spam market will shrink to fewer than 10 by the end of the year, Techweb reports.

Too many players

If anything, Gartner under-estimates the number of players in the anti-spam market. Every security vendor we can think of - with the exception of Cisco Systems - has some kind of anti-spam product. But accepting Gartner's argument that the enterprise market is consolidating then it's no surprise that even vendors who will probably survive the shake-out are eyeing the SME market for growth.

A poll of nearly 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses by Sophos shows that 80 per cent of companies found the flood of spam made them less productive at work, yet only 28 per cent have any form of anti-spam filtering in place. As spam volumes increase, the need for anti-spam products grows. Entry costs for vendors are low, and so we're seeing a growth in the anti-spam market comparable to that of the anti-virus market in the early 1990s.

One of the difficulties reporting of this market is there's little or no intelligence on the effectiveness of rival products. We harbour a nagging suspicion that many commercial products are little more effective than open source or Internet community initiatives that have been going on for some time.

Of those anti-spam products we've tried (admittedly not very many) only Spam Assassin is any good at weeding out bounced messages from AV sensors or notices that a "virus has been removed from your email", for example. Letters from readers tell us we're far from alone in seeing the volume of such messages rise to rival that of regular spam. ®

Related stories

One third of email now spam
Anti-spam filters kill legitimate emails
AV vendors muscle in on anti-spam
The trouble with anti-virus
Anti-virus companies: tenacious spammers

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.