– Nicholas Sciberras, Product Manager at GFI Software (www.gfi.com), says:

Antispam tools make use of various technologies to identify spam emails and block such emails before reaching the users’ mailboxes. Technologies used to identify spam emails include IP Reputation, DNS based Blackhole Lists, Sender Policy Framework, detection of email bombs, detection of Directory Harvesting attacks, Bayesian filtering, detection of Phishing emails, Email Header filtering, detection of Zombie networks, Greylisting, detection of Image and BackScatter spam, Country based filtering, and Tarpitting.

The constant evolvement of spamming techniques requires antispam software to be updated to block new spam trends.

Considering that more 80% of all emails are either spam or contain malware, one would recognize the importance of antivirus and antispam products. The large amount of emails containing spam and malware could hog your server down in normal conditions, let alone when the server is the target of an email bomb.

When malware manages to enter the network, it will normally quickly propagate to infect other systems within the same network. It is normally easier for the malware to propagate once the malware is inside the network, since systems on the same network use a higher level of thrust.

Because of this, one would want to deploy antispam and email antivirus software at the perimeter of the network, scanning all the emails before they enter the network, thus avoiding wastage of resources from spam and stopping all malware before it reaches your systems.

Spam and malware are constantly evolving, and it is difficult for many organizations to keep up to date with the latest threats. Antispam and antivirus products are a must in a network. You need to ensure that the products selected make use of multiple layers of protection in order to detect different types of malware and spam, including the most recent. Such products scan emails using multiple virus scanning engines, multiple malware detection techniques, and multiple anti-spam techniques.

One other important thing to consider is that legitimate emails are not blocked incorrectly. You wouldn’t want your antispam or antivirus software blocking an email to the CEO which contained a good business opportunity just because email contained a single keyword which caused it to be blocked.

Spam emails are a nuisance to say the least. They utilize network resources, litter the users’ mailboxes, carry fraudulent and offensive messages, and are a complete waste of time. As if that is not enough, phishing emails, which are considered a mix between spam and malware, imitate emails from well known institutions in order to fraudulently gain personal information such as passwords or credit card details.