SurfControl Enterprise Protection Suite Email Filter
$11.40 per user plus $13.97 a year
Strengths: Extensive message management.
Weaknesses: No context-sensitive help.
Verdict: An excellent choice for those looking for a flexible and powerful software solution.
SurfControl’s Email filtering software will run on any system that can support Windows Server 2000 or above, with a minimum requirement of 512MB RAM, an Intel Pentium III 600MHz processor and 1 GB of disk space. The system also needs Java for some components, and will use Microsoft’s SQL Server software if it is available.
The system offers a wealth of features spread over separate components. Mail monitoring and message administration, for example, are Windows programs running on the server, while the reporting functions are accessed using a Java-enabled web browser. This allows the administration functions to be divided among different users and systems, and provides some security to the filtering system itself.
The email monitoring facility displays message traffic processing states, while the administration function allows you to examine queued and quarantined messages. You can examine any message’s processing state. Its spam score analysis can be examined in detail, and messages can be released or deleted as required.
The system offers a Virtual Learning Agent so you can train it to recognize specific content, such as confidential or propretary data, not covered by normal spam filtering methods. Extensive help is available on all the interfaces, but it requires a PDF viewer.
The reporting options are extensive. SurfControl’s report software provides a number of pre-programmed reports with several levels of customization. It can even create private reports that are only accessible by the administrator, while other reports can be made generally available.
Remote users can view public reports using a browser simply by using the appropriate hyperlink, although they will need to install the report software if they are to create their own reports.
The optional End User Spam Management software can be installed for users who need to manage their own spam. This not only helps to spread the administration load, but also enables specialist users to filter their mail in the light of their own field of expertise. For example, a medical insurance underwriter might receive mail that would be classified as spam because of its content, but which in fact is relevant to their work.