Message Systems, Commtouch unite to protect high-volume senders

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E-mail services firms Message Systems and Commtouch are working together to provide real-time threat protection solutions to Internet Service Providers on a high volume e-mail delivery platform.

The partnership comes as a response to growing volumes and variety of spam and malware like image spam and virus variants emitted by botnets. Under the terms of the OEM licensing agreement, Message Systems has embedded Commtouch's Anti-Spam, Zero-Hour Virus Outbreak Protection and Reputation Service technologies into its e-mail software. ISPs can optionally select to employ one or all three of the Commtouch software.

"Direct marketers need to have a focused concentration on the mail they send so that they will receive a good reputation from the ISPs," said Barry Abel, vice president of field operations at Message Systems, Colombia, MD.

Message Systems software is enabled to deliver millions of unique messages per hour, allowing multiple servers to work in unison and be managed from a single enterprise console. Commtouch's content-agnostic platform is aimed at protecting mailboxes from viruses and spam the moment an outbreak occurs.

The three security tiers in the integrated Message Systems-Commtouch platform includes Traffic Flow Control to block abuse at the edge, Aggressive Filtering comprised of anti-spam, anti-virus and reputation engines at the center layer, and Backend System Connectivity for innermost layer protection to satisfy mail flow requirements between external systems and achieve complete abuse policy enforcement.

Merging these two systems is aimed at helping e-mail marketers deal with the changing playing field, which is now longer about just black and white lists.

"Reputation and abuse were big factors in 2006," Mr. Abel said. "In 2007, we're seeing adoption of data feeds and gray lists. ISPs are identifying mailers not as good or bad, but on a gray list that gives an assessment of their mailing practices."

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