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Issue Date: September 2001 (es)

Networks Unlimited prevents content security threats with MIMEsweeper

1 September 2001

Networks Unlimited, a company that focuses on network management and productivity solutions, views content security as an essential part of business security. "We assist companies in shaping and implementing content security policies," says Craig Copeland, Networks Unlimited Director. "MAILsweeper, part of Baltimore's MIMEsweeper family, helps to achieve this by providing a simple and intuitive Policy Manager."
Most importantly, MAILsweeper and WEBsweeper are not anti-virus scanning products. They are content security solutions that break Internet data down to its original state and pass it on to anti-virus tools for scanning.
"Although anti-virus products can prevent virus infection on PCs and network servers, not all of them are capable of detecting viruses and macro bombs within incoming e-mail attachments and web downloads," continues Copeland. "MAILsweeper and WEBsweeper are specifically geared to understanding e-mail and web formats.
"MIMEsweeper products complement users' anti-virus policies by using a preferred choice of anti-virus scanning product in its analysis process," he says. "The MIMEsweeper family has interfaces for the industry leaders in virus detection, including Dr Solomon, Sophos, F-Prot, McAfee, Symantec, IBM Anti-Virus."
MIMEsweeper products run on NT to create a protected environment so that the product itself cannot be attacked. This helps prevent cross infection. NT protects MIMEsweeper in the case of any rules, validators or routers failing, since the rest of the program can keep running.
MAILsweeper and WEBsweeper are both server-based applications. MAILsweeper for SMTP is an SMTP relay or router that sits at the boundary between network systems, just as firewalls 'gateway' between networks control user access. MAILsweeper for Exchange runs on the Exchange server. MIMEsweeper for FireWall -1 operates through the CVP protocol. WEBsweeper runs as a caching web/FTP proxy server.
Copeland points out that viruses are traditionally carried in e-mail attachments or compressed files, but there have been more dangerous developments with the advent of embedded viruses and logic bombs in documents or presentations. "Autostart macros in applications like Word are automatically launched when the document, spreadsheet or presentation is opened.
"MIMEsweeper recognises the overwhelming majority of compression or encoding formats," he adds. "It recursively unbundles the data until there is nothing more to unzip. This provides the virus checkers with a far better chance of detection."
Concludes Copeland, "MIMEsweeper is about enabling companies to implement their security policies. For companies using e-mail it is about stopping breaches of confidentiality, legal liability, spam attacks, as well as keeping out viruses.
For details contact Craig Copeland of Networks Unlimited on tel: (021) 531 6000 or e-mail: craig@netunlim.co.za


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