Symantec tackles phishing with new appliances

Symantec tackles phishing with new appliances

WITH the incidence of phishing attempts booming, Symantec has released two new appliances that nab unwanted email within and at the edge of the network.

Since most phishing attempts are delivered through spam, Symantec says by preventing it from entering the network, the chances of end-users being stung by unscrupulous cha-racters on the internet can be reduced.

According to Robert Pregnell, Symantec’s Sydney-based product marketing manager for Asia-Pacific, the vendor’s new 8000 series of email security appliances prevent most spam from entering users’ inboxes.

He says while the Symantec Mail Security 8100 device that sits at the TCP protocol level prevents up to half of all spam from entering the network, the 8200 is an email firewall that operates at the email client layer and blocks 95% of the remaining spam.

“This significantly reduces the chances of a phishing attempt rea-ching users,” he says.

The appliances use antispam technology Symantec acquired from Brightmail last year, while the 8200 also includes Symantec AntiVirus protection and an online management console.

As spam accounts for 70% of email sent, preventing the majority of it from entering the network reduces email infrastructure costs by restricting unwanted connections and easing mail management, says Pregnell.

“Between these two appliances the spam problem can be completely eliminated,” he says. “This represents a significant cost reduction to organisations.”

The Brightmail technology boasts the industry’s best accuracy rate in detecting unwanted email and is backed by a network of Brightmail Logistics Operations Centres around the world where spam is analysed and from where automatic spam filter updates are issued every ten minutes, says Pregnell.

“The centres help us maintain a low false positive rate of less than one in a million,” he says.

A multilayered approach to security is the best defence against spam and network bots - malware designed to infiltrate PCs to create spam relay zombies - which increased in number from 2,500 to 30,000 in the first half of 2004, Pregnell adds.

“You need different layers of protection at different tiers of the organisation and defence in depth,” he says.

Protecting sensitive information from theft is not just a technical discussion, says Pregnell, as organisations also need to implement and enforce best practice policies.

Therefore he believes the appliances will appeal to partners at different tiers.

Richard Batchelar, Symantec New Zealand country manager, agrees, saying the range has led to partnerships with different partners than Symantec’s software resellers.

The company is identifying key partners with network security expertise to take on the products and Symantec is offering a competitive trade-up deal for users of appliances by other vendors such as Trend Micro, Sophos and Brocade, he adds.

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