Top Five Technologies to Fight Spam in 2004

Exchange Server anti-virus and secure content management product provider Nemx Software, published a list of top spam trends and technologies for 2004. In 2004, the threat of spam will continue to grow, with some industry experts estimating that spam will comprise as much as 70 per cent of business email by year-end.

In Nemx’s opinion, top five technologies to fight spam in 2004 are:

1. Reputable RBLs: Just using real-time blackhole lists (RBL) technology isn’t enough. When using anti-spam software that checks the sending host IP address against RBLs, it will become more critical that a mix of highly credible, semi credible and aggressive RBLs are used to ensure that “true business email” is not tagged as spam. This will become increasingly important as more and more unreliable RBLs emerge in 2004 and mistakenly blacklist legitimate domains, or turn rogue and blacklist everyone, or face denial of service attacks.

2. Concept Filtering: Many new techniques to establish the intent of an email message have emerged, and for concept filtering to be truly effective, it will need to look not only at the message as a whole, but at the elements within that email. For example, when the email is trying to sell something, “prescription medications” are involved, “there is a Web site for more information”, and a “mailing list removal request” is present at the end of the email. When these concepts are found within a message, the administrator has the confidence that it is truly spam and can be deleted, rather than quarantined. Filtering technology will now able to determine more effectively whether the message is spam and what concepts or themes are contained within the message thereby leading to the best course of action for the message.

3. Multi-Tiered Approach: To ensure that anti-spam software is effective, solutions will emerge that offer multiple lines of defense in the fight against spam. Implementing a minimum of two to three different approaches enables organizations to fight off new types of spam techniques and improve both end-user and administrator productivity by allowing fewer spam messages past the server-level.

4. Identify “Friendly” Domains: To ensure that email can be trusted to deliver mission-critical information, enterprises will use technology that automatically identifies known domains and safe entities based on the frequency of email sent and received. Friendly domains are those organizations, which are trusted business partners, so mail originating from these partners should be excluded from certain scanning processes to eliminating the risk of the message being lost. This should be an automated function, which does not require administrators to collect email and manually set up lists.

5. Empower End-Users and Administrators: End-users and administrators are on the frontlines in dealing with spam on a daily basis, and it will bemore and more important to take their needs into account. Administrators need intuitive tools that maximize their limited time, including easy-to-use quarantine and search functions based on why the message was triggered as spam, sending domain, or intended recipients. For end-users, tools that enable them to set up their own preferences based on key words and meanings may not be important to the rest of the organization, but are critical to their individual job function.

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