Old hand BorderWare has decided to focus on one particular area of network security - email. Whereas most companies are happy enough to bundle email in with the rest of its internet traffic and allow the firewall to handle all of it, BorderWare's MXtreme MX-200 appliance specifically focuses on the problems of email traffic.
The device is very pleasantly designed. It comes as a 1U rack-mounted appliance in a very striking blue. Design is simple - a plain fascia with all of the ports hidden away at the rear.
The MX-200 is the baby of the range, aimed at small businesses. There are two larger models for enterprises, but the basic operation is the same.
Installation is perfectly straightforward. You simply plug in a standard keyboard and monitor (temporarily) to configure the device's network address. Then it can be managed from anywhere on the network via the web-based management application. The software runs on a specially hardened OS.
The appliance offers a number of security features specifically targeted at email. There is an impressive battery of spam filters which should remove virtually all spam from your network.
You can specify permitted servers, scan the contents and even set a figure for bulk email, above which it will be stopped. Black and white lists of sending IP addresses can also be configured.
There is also the option to integrate the product with Trend Micros anti-virus scanner. This is configured to receive hourly updates of its signature file for added protection.
The appliance also detects mal-formed messages which may be hiding viruses and blocks them or places them in a quarantined zone where they can be more properly investigated.
Authentication is provided by a number of means. You can use RSA SecureID or CryptoCard if you want to use tokens, or you can use RADIUS.
The MX-200 provides comprehensive logging options. Most impressive is the transport log which contains a record of all mail that has passed through - or not passed through - the firewall.
The accompanying documentation is plainly written, with all stages of installation and configuration addressed in a step-by-step manner.
If you are looking for a firewall which provides all of the functionality of a fully-fledged email security application, you can't go wrong with BorderWare's MX-200 device.