Vendors roll out new corporate spam-fighting tools

Vendors continued to heed companies' calls for more spam-fighting tools this week, rolling out new enterprise products and services designed to can spam.

Both e-mail security provider MX Logic and antispam software and service company Brightmail are unveiling new technologies that they say can significantly reduce the amount of spam flowing into companies' in-boxes.

MX Logic said that it is now offering a Bayesian filtering service, which uses a statistical approach to classifying whether a piece of mail is spam, based on the message's content and properties. Bayesian filtering has received a lot of attention within the industry lately because it purportedly garners a higher rate of accuracy and a lower rate of false positives, mistakenly identifying legitimate e-mail as spam.

Bayesian filtering was the hot topic at a spam filtering conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in January, where industry pundits speculated that mass distribution of the filters might be able to topple the spam business model by significantly diminishing spammers' response rates.

Although Brightmail takes a different tack, identifying spam using "honeypots," or false e-mail addresses that are designed to attract spam, it says that its new enterprise spam filtering software also boasts a high rate of effectiveness with few false positives.

Brightmail Anti-Spam Enterprise Edition 4.5, which is set to be announced Monday, offers easier deployment, simplified rule retrieval, and availability on Linux as well as Windows and Solaris, according to Brightmail Enterprise Product Manager Mark Bruno.

The filter is 92 percent effective in catching spam with a false positive rate of one in 1 million, he said.

"We are way ahead of the competition," Bruno said.

And there seems to be plenty of competition out there. In fact, Felix Lin and Linus Upson, founders of the mobile device software maker AvantGo, are planning to go public with a new antispam software company next week called Qurb.

While vendors continue to battle it out, companies at least have a range of options when it comes to dealing with their spam problems.

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