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This content is part of the Buyer's Guide: The best email security gateways: A buyer's guide
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Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security: Product overview

Expert Karen Scarfone looks at the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange email security gateway products used for monitoring email messages that could contain suspicious content and threats.

Trend Micro offers two products with email security gateway capabilities: Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange. Both of these products are intended to examine an organization's inbound and outbound emails, looking for threats such as spam, malware and phishing attempts. When a threat is detected, the product blocks it so that it doesn't reach its intended destination, thus preventing an attack from potentially being executed.

Product versions

Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security has a rather unusual deployment model. Typically the product functions in two pieces: a public cloud service and an on-premise product (either a virtual appliance or a dedicated hardware appliance), making this a hybrid deployment. However, it is also possible to deploy just an on-premises piece in the form of an application running on a Windows or Linux server without the public cloud-based piece. This deployment model is not found in other email security gateway products.

The public cloud piece is a software as a service (SaaS) offering. The virtual appliance is known as the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security Virtual Appliance, and it is available for VMware ESX v4.0 and 4.1; VMware ESXi 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.5; and Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 and 2012. The dedicated hardware appliance is known as the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security Software Appliance, and a list of hardware that supports this appliance is kept up-to-date on the vendor's website. Finally, the application running on a Windows or Linux server is called the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security Software Solution.

The Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange is a server-based product that is only available for Microsoft Exchange 2013, 2010 and 2007 servers.

Security capabilities

Both the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange products have all the basic security capabilities commonly associated with email security gateways, including antivirus, antimalware, antiphishing and antispam. In addition, both products offer executable sandboxing as well as integration with threat intelligence feeds; these advanced capabilities are supported through the optional Deep Discovery Advisor.

There are also some differences in other advanced capabilities that the products support. Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange supports data loss prevention (DLP). Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security also supports DLP, but only through the optional Data Privacy and Encryption Module. This same add-on module also provides support for email encryption for outbound emails.

Licensing

Licenses for both products are available per user. Trend Micro offers a free 30-day trial of Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and a free 30-day trial of Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange.

Conclusion

The Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange products offer similar capabilities through different deployment models. The Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security product offers a hybrid architecture by default, and also the option of running software on top of an operating system on a local server. The Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange product supports server-based deployments for Microsoft Exchange servers only.

The security capabilities offered by both products are nearly identical: all the basic security capabilities supported by email security gateways, plus threat intelligence feed integration, executable sandboxing, and DLP. Note that DLP is only available for Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security through use of the Data Privacy and Encryption Module add-on; this module also supports email encryption for outbound emails, which is a capability that the Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange cannot support. The capabilities are better than average when compared to other email security gateway products.

Organizations looking for a hybrid deployment should strongly consider the Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security product. A major advantage of a hybrid deployment is that most spam messages and other undesirable emails are filtered in the public cloud so that they never reach the organization's own systems. This can significantly reduce the organization's bandwidth usage and internal email processing resource needs. Organizations with Microsoft Exchange-based email may want to consider both Trend Micro products as part of their email security gateway selection process, although typically an organization would acquire one product or the other but not both.

Next Steps

In part one of this series, learn the basics of email security gateways in the enterprise

In part two of this series, read about the enterprise use cases for email security gateways

In part three of this series, find out about the purchasing criteria for email security gateway products

In part four of this series, compare the best email security gateways in the industry

This was last published in December 2015

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How do Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security and Trend Micro ScanMail Suite for Microsoft Exchange stack up against other top email security products?
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