Q

Network access and content security

Can you tell me what products are on the market for content security (sweeping internal and external mail for keywords, restricting the sending of files over a certain size and detecting pornography)? I have recently seen a set of products called Mimesweeper; are there any others along the same lines?


(Standard Disclaimer: While I list a few of these products below, please do not take this as an all-inclusive list, or as a personal endorsement of any of these.)

There are a number of such products. What you should remember about these products and any similar products, is that none of them are perfect. None will filter out all pornography, especially since there are so many pornography sites and they move all the time. You will also need to be careful with keyword scanning. For example, you might list "breast" as a keyword to filter to remove pornography. By doing so, however, you would likely remove access to "Breast Cancer Awareness" sites, and probably eliminate a few chicken breast recipes too!

Clearly stated network access policies along with educated users will go a long way to prevent the problems you are trying to avoid. The tools listed below and others that are similar can help enforce those policies, but don't expect them to catch everything.

Content Security Products (mini-list):
Session Wall from Service Strategies, Inc.
MIMEsweeper from Baltimore Technologies
eSafe from Aladdin
VPN-1/FireWall-1 from Checkpoint
InterScan and ScanMail from TrendMicro

This was first published in March 2001

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