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Enhance Your Email Security with Multiple Scanning Techniques

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September 11, 2009 2:00 pm

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Enhance Your Email Security with Multiple Scanning Techniques

With the introduction of GWAVA 4.5, SmartBlocker 2 has been enhanced with the new signature engine. The signature engine works much like traditional anti-virus engines with constantly up-to-date definitions of known and suspected spam. Together with conversation tracking, the signature engine virtually eliminates false positives. At the same time, it provides excellent spam catching rates and requires no administration. These were the features our customers wanted in this latest release of GWAVA.

Even with all these new and exciting features in GWAVA 4.5, don’t forget about the signature engine’s older brother, the probability engine. The probability engine was the cornerstone of SmartBlocker when GWAVA 4 was released. Its learning and adaptive qualities still mean that it has one of the best spam catching rates in the industry.

Which particular engine to choose now becomes a question for each GWAVA 4.5 customer. Typically most new installations opt for the signature engine because it’s easy to use and has a low overhead. That’s great and that’s the reason we added it into GWAVA. However, it occurred to me that a great new configuration of GWAVA 4.5 would be to use both engines in tandem—a best of both worlds approach.

How would this work? In this example, you could use the GWAVA 4.5 ISO to install a new SMTP GWAVA soft-appliance. This scanner makes use of the signature engine along with the various new SMTP level connection scanning techniques such as IP reputation and SPF. By all rights, this scanner should block over 90% of spam. It’s a lot, but no one can claim perfection on a spam filter. What about the spam that GWAVA misses? This is the perfect opportunity for the probability engine to step in and clean up the rest. Because of its adaptive nature, the probability engine will learn what the signature engine misses and block it. You now have two engines working in tandem to provide the best spam catching rate possible short of a human reading through everyones’ mail and sorting out the spam.

To set up this second engine in our example, you can then install a GWAVA GWIA scanner configured only with the probability engine. You will still need to train this engine, so pushing out a shared SPAM folder to your users would work the best. It might take longer than normal to fully train the probability engine because the SMTP scanner will be eating most of the spam, but eventually you should see excellent results.

I’m also partial to this idea because I like to take the hands-on approach to spam filters, constantly tweaking and tuning things. If you’re like me, then you may want to try this method.

Feel free to drop me a line on anything GWAVA related!

Stephen Cohen
Product Manager
stephenc@gwava.com

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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