Strengths: Supports outsourced mail encryption.
Weaknesses: No help facility in the GUI and no message-body scanning.
Verdict: A good service, average in some areas, surprisingly impressive in others.
SoftScan services clients around the world, but while its support hours are European, 24x7 telephone support is available for a fee.
The service both supports TLS encryption for mail in transit, and offers integration with third-party mail encryption services — filtering even encrypted messages by forwarding encrypted/signed messages to a third party, then filtering on the unencrypted message returned.
Long-term archival is scheduled for immediate deployment, but was not live at the time of testing, and web proxy scanning is also due for rollout soon.
SoftScan’s GUI is probably the most aesthetically pleasing web interface to an email MSSP we have seen, very Spartan and showing only options relevant to the task currently displayed.
While some users might prefer a more persistent menu to be always available, we quite liked the simplicity of SoftScan’s approach. It was slow to load some pages, though, even with such a lightweight interface.
We particularly liked a facility that checked on the operational status of any scanning “towers” assigned to the account.
The service allows for complex rules to be set up, filtering against any part of the message headers and optionally demanding TLS to be used. More simple score-based rules complement these well, although no message body filtering is provided, making the service rather limited in terms of policy management.
Reporting is simple, but good enough, and we liked the ability to generate daily or weekly reports analyzing rule behavior, and have these sent by email. This would be particularly useful for managers tracking particular policy enforcement.
Per-user quarantine is available, and the service integrates with LDAP directories at the client end to ensure user lists are kept consistent and up-to-date. We liked the “invitation” approach, sending emails to invite users to configure their quarantine and tracking which have done so.
Overall, this is a better-than-average service providing what we would expect with a couple of omissions. The mail encryption support is very good and we would like to see other service providers stepping up in similar fashion with crypto-partners.