E-mail, antivirus security drive proactive techniques

Heeding the criticism of organizations that require stronger and more aggressive anti-virus (AV) and content protection for their networks, a number of security vendors announced Monday new and upgraded content security products at the CSI (Computer Security Institute) show.

Vendors including F-Secure Technologies, Finjan Software Ltd., and ClearSwift Corp. are boosting their solutions to improve policy management and integrate multiple security tools to shorten the window of vulnerabilities once a threat has been identified.

"Traditional anti-virus is signature based, which means it's reactive, and when a virus is 'in the wild' and known, somebody has to be a sacrificial lamb," said Brian Burke, senior analyst for Framingham, Mass.-based research firm IDC. "We're finding organizations are increasingly asking for better and more proactive virus techniques."

Burke said a horde of virus and worm attacks that plagued end-users -- including Klez, Nimda, Goner, Code Red, and Bugbear, to name a few -- have pushed organizations to close the window of vulnerability from the time it is written and released in the wild to the time where the signature is updated and sent out to all users.

Finjan Software's SurfinGate 7.0 for Web and Email, set to debut Monday at CSI, is a nice blend of an AV scanner, URL categorization, and proactive behavior analysis to allow for a grater degree of accuracy for creating known and unknown threat security, Burke said.

Installed at the gateway, Finjan's SurfinGate 7.0 for Web platform relies on code behavior instead of signature reliance. Meanwhile, SurfinGate 7.0 for Email features a new watermarking capability that allows organizations to track the traffic of documents and e-mail content entering and leaving the network, said ShlomoTouboul, founder and CEO of Wall, N.J.-based Finjan.

Also at CSI, F-Secure announced Monday a new version of the company's Anti-Virus for workstations software: F-Secure Anti-Virus 5.40. The beefed-up solution sports a new internal architecture and delivery mechanism for automated virus signature updates, according to officials of Helsinki, Finland-based F-Secure.

IDC analyst Burke said another critical issue brewing with customers is the level of mandated and proven policy enforcement, rather than a threat environment, that is jumping to the fore with new privacy regulations for healthcare IT operations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and financial services with the Graham-Leach Bliley Act.

ClearSwift will unveil at CSI on Monday new components to its EnterpriseSuite software. The enhancements include ClearPoint PMI (Policy Management Infrastructure) for central messaging policy control; ClearSecure, which enables encrypted secure messaging; and ClearEdge, which offers a content filtering engine for SMTP gateway e-mail.

Components for ClearSwift that are still in the works include ClearBase, which enables internal e-mail filtering for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino, and ClearSurf, an HTTP and PTP content filtering engine for secure Internet Access, according to officials of Bellevue, Wash.-based ClearSwfit.

In other content security news at CSI, Group Software and AXS-One announced a partnership that will integrate Group Software's securiQ Suite for e-mail security within AXS-One's Compliance Portal to satisfy increasingly complex SEC Compliance rules for e-mail.

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