This product is designed to sit between your existing SMTP mail server and the outside world. While it is happy to run on a single machine, larger companies want to know that it can also be part of a distributed environment to increase scalability and performance.
In either case, management is performed through a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) application. When first started, you're faced with a wizard that helps you configure policy.
We populated our policy database with a set of rules to block profanity, MP3s and executable files. It removes a lot of the leg work, particularly where generating lists of banned words is concerned. Odds are, though, that you'll have to get your hands dirty at some point and modify the default policy.
To create a new scenario, you need to build it up out of several elements including detection rules and actions to take.
We built a scenario to detect emails relating to a fictional "Top secret" project by generating a list of words, a detection rule and an action to quarantine suspect emails and notify an administrator.
Once all the elements were in place, it was simple both to define and manage complex rules.
As well as user-defined detection routines, MIMEsweeper works with the Spamhaus.org block lists and comes installed with its own spam engine. Updated up to eight times a day from Clearswift's servers, it's a useful way to block spam without relying on keyword searches.
However, those wanting finer control will be disappointed by the simplistic controls.
Finally, MIMEsweeper will scan through compressed files and can pass attachments on to third-part anti-virus scanners for complete protection.
As an all-in-one product for blocking spam and enforcing your corporate policy, MIMEsweeper is an excellent tool. But its potential complexity and distributed environment means you will need an experienced administrator to get the most out of it.