MIMEsweeper was one of the first products capable of protecting organizations against unwanted content, and it is still widely used today. The vendor, Clearswift, acquired MIMEsweeper's developer, Content Technologies, from Baltimore last year, and it is good to see that re-branding and product development have happened so quickly.
Today, MIMEsweeper is not just one product, but a suite of email security applications allowing network administrators to fine-tune their defenses as required. With the MAILsweeper application, administrators can define both the routing of all emails into and out of the network, and the content policies required. Throughout, the performance of the various elements can be monitored and the appropriate action taken.
Installation takes some forethought; it is dependent upon whether you are introducing the product into an existing network, and the configuration of that network. It is time-consuming rather than complex, and the excellent documentation takes you through all the stages. Criteria to consider include network architecture, how it connects to the internet and who has what authority.
Following installation, you must define your routing and relay policy. This is basically who can send and receive messages, and from whom. At the highest level, you can specify permitted or forbidden SMTP hosts. This can be further refined to IP addresses and email addresses. Bandwidth management is carried out by limiting the number of internal recipients, the maximum size of emails and the number of simultaneous emails you want MAILsweeper to receive.
The final stage is at a user and individual email level, specifying individual users and what they are permitted to send and receive. At an email level, you can instruct MAILsweeper to only process certain types of email, what to look for, and what actions to take under various circumstances. The entire system is thoroughly audited, with user-defined reports tracking the progress of all emails and all users.
Various optional snap-in applications are available to increase the already admirable security features of MAILsweeper. One of the first and still one of the best, it is good to see MIMEsweeper flourishing under Clearswift as a hardy and feature-rich suite of products.