Readers' Choice Awards 2012

Best of Email Security 2012

Readers vote on the best Email Security products in 2012: Antispam, antiphishing, email antivirus and antimalware filtering, software and appliance products, as well as hosted "in-the-cloud" email security services. Includes email archiving and e-discovery products and services.

In this part:

Gold: IronPort Email Security Appliances, Cisco Systems

A regular contender in our Readers' Choice awards, Cisco Systems IronPort Email Security Appliances received the gold medal in email security. Promoted from last year's bronze, readers recognized the email security appliances for their ability to detect and block spam, phishing attempts, viruses and spyware in messaging traffic. The appliances scored well across the board, but readers particularly liked their ease of use, integration with existing messaging applications, and the quality of vendor service and support.

The email security appliances also received rave reviews by readers who provided write-in commentary. The appliances were described as "good," "easy to use," and "works exactly as described."

Cisco Systems IronPort Email Security Appliances are designed to protect organizations of all sizes against messaging threats. The appliances feature spam protection, digital rights management, archiving, virus defense and email encryption, and tracking and reporting tools. Cisco IronPort also offers DomainKeys signing, directory harvest attack prevention and protection against bounced-message attacks. Different filtering policies can be set for different groups within the organization and real-time reporting allows administrators to modify policies if the network is under attack. Cisco offers its IronPort Email Security technology on cloud-based, hybrid or managed models.

Expert's market reflection: "Spam and virus filtering is at an acceptable rate across most solutions. More advanced solutions are focused on filtering irritating bulk marketing emails, dangerous targeted spear phishing threats, advanced data loss prevention and encryption capabilities."-- Peter Firstbrook, vice president, Gartner

Silver: Google Message Security, Google

Google took home the silver, 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 also praised the cloud-based email security service for end user transparency and ease of use. Google Message Security is designed to stop spam, viruses and other attacks before they reach the network. The service allows companies to define email usage policies, including role-based policies, for compliance purposes.

Bronze: Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, Barracuda Networks

Readers awarded the bronze to the Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, giving the product high marks for ease of installation, configuration and administration. They also like its ability to detect and block spam, viruses and spyware and feel they're getting their money's worth with the product.

Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall blocks spam and viruses while also providing outbound filtering to prevent loss of confidential or sensitive data. It provides 12 layers of defense, including IP reputation analysis, Bayesian analysis and sender authentication.