Tumbleweed releases corporate e-mail security appliance

Tumbleweed announced the latest addition to its line of e-mail security appliances, the high-end MailGate Appliance 6500 designed for companies with 10,000 employees or more.

The appliance can process more than 1 million messages an hour and is aimed at companies looking to simplify their e-mail security strategies by consolidating to fewer products that can do more things, the company says.

Based on a hardened Linux kernel, the Mailgate 6500 protects corporate systems from e-mail-borne threats with features such as Virus Outbreak Protection, which uses pattern detection to identify new virus attacks even before antivirus companies release signatures, the company says. The appliance also blocks 99% of spam coming across e-mail channels in multiple languages.

The Mailgate 6500 offers policy enforcement features, so organizations can monitor outbound messages to be sure that sensitive company information or data covered by regulations isn't leaving the company. Rules-based TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption is included, so messages that need to be secured before leaving an organization can be automatically encrypted.

In addition, the MailGate 6500 can stop as much as 80% of an organization's e-mail load before it hits the network by blocking malware at the edge, the company says. The appliance uses traffic-shaping techniques that identify suspicious senders of spam, virus-laden messages and malware, as well as attempts to launch directory harvest and denial-of-service attacks, and throttles back or blocks those messages, cutting down significantly on the amount of e-mail that needs to be scanned.

With the release of the MailGate Appliance 6500, Tumbleweed - which traditionally sells to midsize businesses - is making a push into the enterprise market, says Brian Burke, research manager for security products and services at IDC. However, Tumbleweed's pitch to enterprises that the functionality and capacity of the 6500 will let companies reduce their total number of e-mail security appliances should make sense to large companies, he says.

"That's something we hear every day from IT managers in large enterprises; they don't want to buy more appliances ... they want to consolidate onto a single appliance, so we're seeing this convergence of all different types of point solutions into a comprehensive appliance," Burke says.

Management of the 6500 appliances - including remote ones - can be done through a unified dashboard utility, which offers real-time information about e-mail traffic, network attacks, spam statistics and policy enforcement.

Tumbleweed competes with e-mail security appliance makers IronPort, CipherTrust, Barracuda, Mirapoint and Proofpoint. In addition to its line of appliances, the company sells an e-mail security software line called MailGate Email Firewall and MailGate Secure Messenger for e-mail authentication and encryption. It also sells managed file transfer and identity verification products.

The MailGate 6500 is priced starting at US$18,500; the related MailGate software is priced starting at US$5,000 for 250 users.

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