MXtreme Mail Firewall 4.0

Learn how Borderware Technologies' Mxtreme Mail Firewall combines e-mail security with advanced administration and policy management.

MXtreme Mail Firewall 4.0
BorderWare Technologies
Price: Starts at $7,995

Managing and securing enterprise e-mail is a critical, complex task. BorderWare Technologies' MXtreme Mail Firewall is a multifaceted device that delivers baseline e-mail security (antivirus, antispam and content filtering), as well as advanced services, such as administering local user accounts, forwarding e-mail and scanning and receiving mail for multiple domains. The device can be configured and deployed in about an hour, and it boasts a feature set that's as comprehensive as it is diverse.

MXtreme uses integrated versions of Kaspersky Labs' Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Symantec's Brightmail Anti-Spam 5.5 enterprise edition software. It also offers alternative spam detection methods, but that means you can't use the Brightmail filter.

The MXtreme antispam options allow admins to configure the appliance to connect to the Realtime Blackhole List (RBL), perform a statistical analysis on the content of messages or utilize a Distributed Checksum Clearinghouse (DCC).

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Accounts are set up via a Web-based GUI through which users can also access their mailboxes. Authentication options include RSA Security's SecurID, LDAP or RADIUS. MXtreme supports both IMAP and POP3, and comes with an SSL-enabled Web e-mail interface.

MXtreme boasts a rich set of reports and reporting mechanisms. It can be configured to provide system health alerts, as well as reports on everything from SMTP traffic and Web-mail usage to spam statistics and RBL/DCC performance. Security managers can customize reports to provide just about any e-mail security statistic (mail volume, throughput, viruses blocked or quarantined, etc.).

The reports can border on information overload, but they can also be pared into simple statistics. Reports can be rendered in HTML, CSV or PDF formats, or distributed via SMTP through an e-mail infrastructure.

MXtreme includes BorderWare's High Availability Load Optimization (HALO) technology, which provides clustering, load balancing and failover/queue replication to ensure that mail is never lost in the event of a failure. Integration with F5 Networks' BIG-IP switch is available, but we didn't test it.

BorderWare has delivered a feature-rich e-mail firewall at a time when the e-mail market is center stage. While the rising cost of fighting spam and e-mail-borne attacks is difficult to measure, MXtreme is a comprehensive device that guards against spam, malware, worms and harvest attacks. One drawback to MXtreme is that it could literally take weeks to configure the box to perform and report in a way that best fits an enterprise. But if mail security is your pain point, BorderWare's MXtreme Mail Firewall is an effective remedy.

About the Author
Ryan Guzal is a contributor to Information Security magazine.

This review orginally appeared on Information Security magazine.

This was first published in August 2005

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