Trend Micro IMSVA
Strengths: Great set of security and content management features.
Weaknesses: High renewal and maintenance fees for a virtual appliance.
Verdict: A very strong product offering, which suffers a bit from the higher costs associated with owning the solution.
The InterScan Messaging Security Appliance ships as a virtual appliance and can be installed on a few different platform architectures. For our particular lab environment, we installed the solution using VMware ESX 3.5. Natively, the solution supports anti-spam, anti-virus, gateway encryption and content filtering. Trend Micro also references and offers a separate Email Encryption Gateway that is not part of this review.
The solution was a breeze to install and we had the virtual appliance up and running within minutes. The IMSVA provides a layered approach to inbound and outbound email content management with regard to anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-virus and content filtering technologies. The appliance acts as a gateway for existing SMTP architectures, but a portion of the services are cloud-based and the subscription is managed by Trend Micro to provide real-time protection and checking against URLs, content, IPs and other information.
Out of the box, the solution comes with all the expected feature sets for encryption (gateway only via TLS) and content management. All the expected features are implemented fairly well. Real-time inspection of sender IP addresses and URLs helps to thwart phishing attacks and suppress spam even further. The policy management integrated into the solution can filter by users, groups, senders or recipients. Overall, the solution has a solid set of functions.
Documentation on the appliance and the overall support experience for users at the Trend Micro website is strong. We encountered one small difficulty connecting to the Trend Micro knowledge base directly from the appliance, however. From a support perspective, basic phone and email support is included with the license fee and additional support packages are available.
Although the product options are very strong, we were disappointed to see the 40 percent renewal/maintenance fee for a virtual software appliance. Overall, the expensive maintenance fees mires what is otherwise a very good product from Trend Micro.