Best of email security 2013

Robert Richardson, Editorial Director

Gold: Messaging Gateway powered by Brightmail, Symantec Corp.

Top honors for email security this year went to Symantec's Messaging Gateway powered by Brightmail. The 10.0 release of Symantec Messaging Gateway this year included several new features to provide better protection, greater control and easier management. But what readers particularly liked, perhaps not too surprisingly, was its ability to detect spam, phishing, viruses and spyware. The latest version of the product introduced "Customer-Specific Rules" to further tighten the noose and there's good integration with Symantec Data Loss Prevention, also a gold medal winner this year.

Symantec says that its Adaptive Reputation Management is one of the product's key differentiators. Simply by considering the sender's reputation, the system drops 90% of spam at the connection level. Only the remaining 10% of suspect messages are forwarded through some two dozen further antispam filtering processes.

For those interested in locking down their email via encryption, Messaging Gateway offers a premium add-on, Symantec Content Encryption, which may be deployed either on-premises or as a cloud-based service. On the whole, Messaging Gateway received some of the highest marks across all the entire Readers' Choice categories for return on investment, solid praise indeed.

Expert market reflection on category dynamics:

"Global spam volumes declined again slightly in 2013 as spammers moved to other mediums, such as social networks, but spam still represents about 65% of email. Phishing and malware attachments also declined slightly; however, there is ample evidence that email is the preferred channel to launch advanced targeted attacks. At the same time email administrators are required to set up complex content-aware email encryption to satisfy regulatory requirements."

 -- Peter Firstbrook, vice president, Gartner

Silver winner:  Cisco Email Security Appliance (formerly IronPort), Cisco Systems

A regular contender in our Readers' Choice awards, Cisco Email Security Appliance received the silver medal in email security. Readers recognized the this appliance for its ability to detect and block spam, phishing attempts, viruses and spyware in messaging traffic. The appliance scored well, but readers particularly liked its ease of use, integration with existing messaging applications and the quality of vendor service and support.

Bronze winner:  Google Message Security, Google

Google took home the bronze, garnering high scores for its ability to detect and block spam, phishing attempts, viruses and spyware and also for its ease of installation, configuration and administration. Readers liked that this service's cloud architecture creates inherent end-user transparency; they gave it high marks for ease of use. The service allows companies to define email usage policies, including role-based policies, for compliance purposes, all building on Google's acquisition of Postini in 2007.  

View the next item in this Essential Guide: Best of encryption products 2013 or view the full guide: Security Readers' Choice Awards 2013

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